Tuesday, 05 July 2011
“City officials are already on the ground to start the physical construction of the toilet enclosures for the residents,” said the city’s newly elected mayor, Patricia de Lille.
The Cape Town High Court in April ordered the country’s only major opposition-led city to build shelters for 1,316 toilets built in 2009, which it said had violated the right to dignity for residents in the city’s slum-filled eastern section.
The issue sparked widespread outrage and protests after surfacing last year and was used by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) as a political weapon ahead of local-government polls in May.
Officials started building the concrete shelters on Tuesday, mayoral spokesman Solly Malatsi said.
The opposition Democratic Alliance, which runs Cape Town, had defended its actions by saying residents had agreed to enclose their own toilets. Mr. Malatsi said the city has budgeted for 1,316 shelters, adding that some households had already built their own.
Earlier attempts at shelters to cover the toilets were torn down after the scandal broke and ignited protests.
“This is a positive step forward in our efforts to close the chapter of the Makhaza toilets with dignity and in a lawful manner,” said Ms. De Lille.
According to the national statistics agency, about 6.6 percent of households in South Africa in 2009 had no toilets or used “bucket toilets,” chamber pots emptied periodically by the municipality.