After telling SST informal settlement residents the City would only provide communal toilets rather than a toilet for each household, two City officials were yesterday ordered by the community to pack up their maps and leave.
The residents of SST informal settlement in Khayelitsha staged a number of violent protests during the first half of August during which tyres and plastic chemical toilets were burnt on Lansdowne Road, cars were stoned and traffic lights destroyed.
The residents held a meeting yesterday to take their concerns over the lack of service delivery forward.
But the meeting arranged with officials from City of Cape Town water and sanitation department by City water sanitation ended acrimoniously as residents cursed them and accused them of selling the community out.
Residents said they expected to get a report back of the meeting they had with city of Cape Town in August 7 about their relocation and the provision of sites in the area upon which they can build their own houses.
When one of the officials, who insisted on only provide his surname, Mangaliso, to the media as he had no authority to speak to the press, told residents he did not have a feedback on relocation and building in SST, residents ordered him and his colleague, who would only give his surname, Lasti, to leave or they would be locked into the small hall in which the meeting was held.
“You driving beautiful cars, you live in suburbs, you do not care about us. For 12 years I’ve been living here, all we get is empty promises from City of Cape Town and now we are tired of your games,” said resident Lwazi Kolanisi.
Residents said they been sharing communal, or what they refer to as ‘bench’, toilets for years. Each toilet is shared by five to ten families.
“Imagine ten families to one toilet. We no longer want them because they cause disease, children are getting sick every day because of these toilets,” said resident Zama Timbela.
He said the City was “playing games” with them as they were supposed to have had a meeting on August 28.
Progressive Youth Movement leader Mabhelandile Thwane said, “Residents want to have sites so they can build their shacks. They only want to have toilets next to their houses so they can be safe. We’ve done our homework and we’ve found three (portions of) vacant land that city can use to build people houses.”
Mangaliso said: “Residents do not want the bench toilets, they are not going to force them. I arranged this meeting because the same residents complained about these toilets. All I wanted was that while you (residents) are waiting you can at least have toilets and we were going to add more toilets if it was necessary.”
Residents said if the city does not come back to them by next week Tuesday, they will resume their protests.
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