Peter Luhanga - July 19, 2020

A petition garnering 5179 signatures from informal settlement residents in Dunoon was submitted to the City of Cape Town on Friday, expressing residents’ opposition to the appointment of a new contractor to install and clean communal chemical toilets in seven informal settlements in the township. Mayco member for water and waste, Xanthea Limberg, confirmed receipt of the petition. The residents oppose the appointment of SanitechToilet Hire, accusing the company of installing worn out chemical toilets.

Residents say some of the toilets are riddled with holes. One chemical toilet is to be shared by five families and are emptied and cleaned once a week, although sometimes the interval is longer than that, says Sinethemba Motomela, Dunoon community leaders chairperson and chairperson of the South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) Dunoon branch. Matomela says according to the City contractual obligations, the toilets are supposed to be emptied cleaned and emptied three times a week. He says the lack of hygiene in these toilet facilities poses a serious health risk to the residents, particularly given the coronavirus pandemic. Dunoon is overcrowded and is currently one of the coronavirus hotspots in Cape Town.

Of concern also is that poor sanitation is also associated with the transmission of diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, amongst others. Matomela says they have tried to engage the new contractor to improve their service delivery but matters had not improved, prompting the circulation of the petition seeking the City appoint a different contractor. He says residents want the previous contractor, Mshengu Toilet Hire, to be reinstated as they ensured the toilets were well maintained. They have since vowed to stop Mshengu Toilet Hire removing their toilets as is required at the expiry of their three-year contract, which ended on 30 June 2020.

“As the community we are blaming the City. They are not supervising the contractor. They just award the tender (and) after that they don’t do monitoring, overseeing whether the new contractor is adhering to contractual obligations. They government must stop deciding for the people. They must engage and hear the side of the community before awarding a tender. There must be a public participation,” says Matomela. Meanwhile Limberg says the City has followed due procurement processes as stipulated by Supply Chain Management rules. She said a competitive process was followed and the contract was awarded on 29 April to Sanitech in Region 1, and to Moreki Distributors in Region 2.

Region 2. “The estimated tender value for region 1 and 2 for the two service providers, is approximately R346 million for the three-year period. The final value will be determined at the end of the contract period and will be dependent upon the final total services rendered by both service providers,” stated Limberg. She says a petition was delivered to the City on Friday 24 July at approximately 11:00 and the contents will be considered and a written response provided in due course.

“The City is mandated by the constitution to provide access to basic services, of which sanitation is one. The City will continue to ensure it meets its mandate to provide basic services. The new contractor’s performance will be closely monitored, and due process will be followed if they are found to not be providing services at the required standard.” She said Sanitech has provided services at Dunoon TRA (Temporary Relocation Area), with 90 toilet units installed, and 140 units installed at another section in the township. “The remainder of the units will be placed as work progresses in consultation with Dunoon leadership and residents.” But Matomela said residents would not allow Sanitech to deliver toilets and would prevent Mshengu from removing those that belong to them. “if our toilets are not cleaned we will empty the faeces on the N7,” he said.

Share this:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *