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The City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services, Alderman Ernest Sonnenberg, was pleased with the progress of construction when he today visited the sites where approximately 800 new full-flush toilets are being installed in SST and BM Sections Khayelitsha. Read more below:

This represents the latest in a number of new installations in the area, including 28 in QQ Section, and 80 in PJS Section.‘This forms part of a wider toilet rehabilitation project for SST, as 194 of the 324 existing toilets had to be removed – mostly due to misuse and vandalism, and a small number having become structurally unsound due to being situated on sandy/flood-prone terrain. The 400 new toilets will be handed over to the community by the end of the month. As part of our commitment to being a caring city, with a particular focus on redress, the City is in the process of commissioning more than 900 new toilets just in Khayelitsha,’ said Alderman Sonnenberg.

Meetings with the SST community and its multiple leadership structures commenced in August 2012, following a City-conducted survey the month before. It has thus been a long journey that saw the teams finally able to complete the service request forms for the new toilets in the Blowie section on 5 November 2015, and for the final funding application to be completed in February 2016.

‘Negotiations between the City and the community since 2012 have not been straightforward, and I would like to thank Water and Sanitation Department staff for their commitment to bringing this project to fruition. While there is of course more work to be done, the completion of this project is a credit to those who worked long and hard to make it happen,’ said Alderman Sonnenberg.

Infrastructure to support these developments was highlighted in the budget allocations which were made public last month, with the Water and Sanitation Department budgeting R559,7 million in direct spend to informal settlements in this coming financial year. This is an increase of R56 million from the current year’s allocation.

‘Among the developments planned for the area, one that I am particularly looking forward to is in Green Point, Khayelitsha. It will include a community point for hand laundry, full-flush toilets, showers, and nappy-changing facilities. It is envisioned the facility will serve as a multifunctional zone where children can play and learn in a safe environment, while allowing adults the opportunity to socialise in a place where there is a provision of services and utilities.

‘The City continues to deliver full-flush toilets wherever it is able to, within the existing constraints. It is through consistent engagement with communities that many solutions are found, such as relocations and re-blocking, allowing for increased services.

‘I would like to use this opportunity to appeal to residents to please look after the sewer system, which is not designed to cope with items such as rags, stones and cooking grease being placed into it. These materials create blockages, which are almost always unpleasant and inconvenient to those affected by them, as well as being highly costly for the City to repair,’ said Alderman Sonnenberg.

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