‘Back to reality’ as PHA residents await basic services

Kampies informal settlement residents want their toilets repaired. Picture: Supplied

Kampies informal settlement residents want their toilets repaired. Picture: Supplied

Published May 31, 2024


Cape Town - Kampies informal settlement residents in the Philippi Horticultural Area (PHA) say it’s back to the hard reality of living without basic services, just a day after casting their votes for change.

Resident and secretary of the PHA Social-Economic Development Forum, Rodney Khan, said they have begged the City of Cape Town for improved toilets for the past three years.

He said the City has failed to do maintenance on their container and chemical toilets ever since they were erected around the camp.

Khan accused the City of failing to give contractors the maintenance plan.

“This has now been for the past three years where we have questioned them about fixing the toilets.

“We have spoken to the ward councillor, but all they say is it will be brought to the attention of the officials,” he said.

There are about 2 000 dwellers, with 30 of the toilets not having doors.

Most of the toilets are located near Olieboom Street and can be seen from the road.

Khan said the toilets don’t flush, and described them as being like the “apartheid bucket” system.

A frustrated Jacky Swarts, 43, said the toilets have never been beneficial to the residents.

“I don’t find the toilets useful because there are missing parts; where you must sit is missing.

“The doors of the toilets are missing.

“Here is not even water every day for us. If the taps are broken it takes days to be fixed.

“Here are too many things happening at the camp,” Swarts said.

Water and sanitation Mayco member Zahid Badroodien said the City was aware of the residents’ requests.

He said the City is unable to install full-flush toilets in the settlement because it’s on privately owned land without a suitable reticulation system for flush toilets to be connected to.

“Both container and chemical toilets have been installed in the area. They are serviced four times a week, with an active janitorial services working five days a week,” Badroodien said.

“The most re cent service of the area’s container toilets took place on Saturday, May 25.”

A total of 40 additional container toilets have been installed in the area, but the City has been unable to identify a suitable space to relocate them.

“The toilets are situated behind or on the outskirts of the informal settlement, so they have been subject to constant vandalism and dumping.

“The advice given was that the toilets be relocated. However, the water and sanitation teams have been unable to identify sufficient space for the relocation to take place,” said Badroodien.

Cape Argus