The following is an extract from a speech delivered by DA NMB Mayoral Candidate, Athol Trollip, to the media during an oversight visit of houses with bucket toilets in Missionvale, Port Elizabeth.
After visiting Walmer Township last year and witnessing the undignified way in which tens of thousands of our people are still forced to use bucket toilets, I am deeply disappointed to learn that both the NMB Municipality and the national government refuse to resolve the bucket toilet slight on the dignity of our people.
Minister Mokonyane has written to dodge all accountability, and to deflect her blameworthiness for the bucket toilet crisis to Mayor Danny Jordaan – yet Jordaan has already refused to deal with the bucket toilet system.
According to Stats SA, a tragic truth is that 35% of all bucket toilets in South Africa are still located in Nelson Mandela Bay.
This was again confirmed today here in Missionvale, where hundreds of houses have been built without toilets or sewerage infrastructure, forcing residents to use buckets. Many buckets are unserviced by the municipality due to muddy and inaccesible roads.
The real solution, for all people who live with bucket toilets is to vote out this uncaring ANC government and replace it with a party that shows true care, as the DA works hard to embody. In this year’s election, the residents of Nelson Mandela Bay can vote for the DA, and we will work immediately to replicate the good governance we deliver in the same way that the Western Cape today has the highest delivery of sanitation, water and electricity of any province.
Eradication of all possible bucket toilets during our first term of office will be a non-negotiable under the DA.
Having come to the defence of our residents by writing to Mayor Jordaan and the Minister of Water Affairs and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, I hoped that they would care enough to do something.
I demanded that the Minister commit to the following:
- Immediate expedition of the Bucket Eradication Programme so that you can reasonably commit to full eradication of all possible buckets by the 31st July 2016.
- Oversight of sanitation expenditure in the NMBMM council to ensure that the incumbent local government spends all funding allocated to eradicating bucket toilets.
Instead of taking ownership of her failure to eradicate the bucket system, the Minister has dodged accountability, turned her back on the people of this Metro, and palmed off responsibility to the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Municipality.
But the municipality also has no answers because it too has ignored the South African Human Rights Commission’s requests to comply, and has failed to eradicate any bucket toilets as people continue to live with this undignified and hopeless situation at the hands of the ANC.
Since 2011, over R65 million has been budgeted for the eradication of bucket toilets in Nelson Mandela Bay, yet to our knowledge, nothing has come of this: not a single eradication success story for R65 million.
While the ANC national minister and mayor play a game of dodging accountability, over 30 000 bucket toilets still exist in this Metro.
It is clear that the ANC has abandoned the people of Nelson Mandela Bay.
The DA can win next year’s local government election in NMB and begin delivering quality services to all residents so that we can begin to realise the true freedom and fairness of our young democracy.
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