Pit toilets a health hazard in Mangolongolo

Ward 65 Clr Lindani Zulu is concerned about the health hazards caused by the pit toilets in Mangolongolo Informal Settlement.

“The settlement has pit toilets and they are filthy. It has become a problem because residents have to relief themselves at nearby factory walls,” said Zulu.

“The area around the pit toilets is not pleasant as there is water constantly flowing around the toilet area.”

He said the situation worsened to the point that nearby businesses are complaining.

“I have been receiving complaints from companies in the area about people who are using the company fences as toilets. It is affecting their businesses and they have to clean up,” said Zulu.

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“I have tried to get the relevant department in the City of Joburg to address the problem with no luck. I asked for assistance and solutions because the toilets have been like this for over a year, if not more. It seems no department is coming to my aid,” said Zulu.

When the EXPRESS visited the settlement there was a strong stench from a pile of rubbish around the toilet area.

Most of the toilets were not working and according to community members, these facilities have not been working for some time.

Ward 65 Clr Lindani Zulu said he is concerned about the health hazards pit toilets pose residents.

“Some residents have taken it upon themselves to clean the toilets and lock them up after cleaning them. This causes a problem because only the one person with keys can use the toilet,” said Zulu.

The MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services, Clr Nico de Jager, said Mangolongolo has 170 pit toilets which are de-sludged regularly.

“We have a service provider that rotates around all the informal settlements within the region to de-sludge the toilets. We do not maintain the structures,” commented de Jager.

He said the challenges regarding the toilets and water flowing around the toilet area are caused by residents.

“Taps are vandalised by the public and Joburg Water keeps on sending maintenance teams to repair and replace. We have people who service the toilets.

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“It’s become a challenge for the service provider. Whenever they de-sludge the toilets, members of the public again create blockages by throwing obstacles such as stones, papers and even buckets inside the toilets. This hinders the progress of work done by the service provider,” said de Jager.

He said the city is aware of the challenges after a site visit was conducted in June.

“On June 18 we had Region F tour with the regional director and MMC Masango. During our tour, Mangolongolo was one of the informal settlements we visited and all the challenges faced by Joburg Water, including other entities, were brought to the attention of the MMC while on site.

The pit toilets in Mangolongolo Informal Settlement are in a shocking state causing residents to find alternatives to relieve themselves.

“The region F team is aware that these challenges are more as a result of members of the public not taking good care of their services, which at the end of the day makes it difficult for us to provide proper service delivery,” said de Jager.

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