The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) has delivered on the commitment of working towards eradicating the inhumane and humiliating bucket system that is still in use in some areas of the City. On Tuesday, 24 January the NMBM officially launched a R500 million bucket eradication programme in Despatch, Khayamnandi. The Municipality’s Infrastructure and Engineering Directorate led by Portfolio Chairman, Councillor Andile Mfunda braved the rainy weather to launch the programme that will see about 4500 beneficiaries who were using a bucket system getting flushed toilets.
Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation, Pam Tshwete and NMBM Executive Mayor Benson Fihla officially cut the ribbon at one of the newly built ablution facilities (toilets) to mark the start of a programme that will bring dignity to thousands of people across the City. Speaking at the launch a visibly impressed Deputy Minister Tshwete said, “I am satisfied to see that the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is doing everything possible to rectify the legacy of the apartheid regime. We cannot dismiss the fact that the Municipality has a backlog. However, the ANC lead government is dealing with that and this is one of its initiatives. As a department we commit to supporting the NMBM in all its endeavours. Sanitation is dignity, we are really pleased with the progress that has been made”.
Deputy Minister Tshwete made a plea to the people of Despatch to protect the ablution facilities that they have received. “We will be spending resources on these facilities, once we are done we want to move to other areas that are as desperate as this one. We do not want to be forced to come and re-do what we have already done here because of vandalism,” said Deputy Minister Tshwete.
NMBM Executive Mayor said: “The time of promises is over. It is now time to deliver and change people’s lives for the better. Our people have suffered too much under the inhumane conditions of the past regime. Only the ANC led government can restore their dignity. This is why we are here today, launching this important programme”.
However, this programme entails a three-pronged approach that will in total cost approximately R500 million over three to four years.
The first phase is a communal ablution facility phase that will be erected in densely populated informal settlements.
The next phase is the construction of house slabs, with a closed flushing ablution facility, while the beneficiary is waiting for the housing subsidy to be approved.
The last phase will be a complete house with running water and a working ablution facility. All these phases are expected to run concurrently, depending on the feasibility.
One of the beneficiaries, Thembisa Rayi could not hold her excitement. “I am over the moon. We have been using the buckets with all its risks and unhygienic conditions. Thank you to our government, they have delivered on their promise. As the community we hope that the programme will spread to other areas”.
At the launch, the Municipality unveiled the house slab, with a closed flushing ablution facility phase. The beneficiaries will use the closed flushing ablution facility while they wait for a housing top structure to be approved. Once the top structure is approved, the construction will be done around the already existing closed flushing ablution facility.
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