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Officials Inspect Sanitation Facilities
Source: City of Joburg Newsletter
Source Date: Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs, Thematic Website, Knowledge Management in Government, Citizen Engagement
Country: South Africa
Created: Nov 30, 2011

Before the tour began, the team met with City officials on Wednesday, 23 November at the Metropolitan centre in Braamfontein to discuss the provision of water and sanitation in informal settlements.

Improving sanitation
The member of the mayoral committee for infrastructure services and environment, Roslynn Greeff who met the delegation told them that there was still a lot to do in improving sanitation facilities.
  
“Joburg still has to deal with large numbers of people who are migrating into the city, putting a strain on resources and infrastructure,” said Greeff.

About 66 informal settlements are serviced on a weekly basis but there are also areas that still use pit latrines.

Greeff said the City was working with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research to develop new and innovative ways for chemical toilet use.

Prema Naidoo, the City’s chief whip, added that closer relations had to be forged with communities to educate them on hygiene and health.

Memani expressed gratitude at how things were managed by the City.

Alexandra
After the meeting, the delegation proceeded to Alexandra to examine sanitation and housing.

The first stop over was at Marlboro flats in Alexandra, a RDP building for single women that was built two years ago – and it was here that the delegation was shocked at the sight of crumbling, rotting walls and leaking toilets.

Greeff, who was clearly appalled by the state of the building, said strong steps should be taken against those responsible for the shoddy work.

“This building is dangerous; people might get injured if the wall collapses,” said Greeff, adding that the company responsible for the construction needed to come back and fix it or be taken to court.
  
Some of the residents in the flat complained of leaking pipes and roofs. They said the place was not being maintained.

Ward 109 councillor Lilian Kekana told the delegation that most of the women who stayed in the building were unemployed and could not afford to raise money for maintenance.

“The residents do not have permits or any records to show that the flats belong to them,” said Kekana.

Memani urged the residents to form a committee to check on the structural defects of the building and work closely with the ward councillor to resolve the challenges.


“You must look after this place so that the government can assist you,” “said Memani, noting that the company responsible for the building must come and sort out the structural defects and replace the entire plumbing system.

She also warned residents to stop throwing foreign objects into the toilets as that would block the sewer system in the area.

Stjwetla settlement
From Marlboro flats the delegation proceeded to the Stjwetla informal settlement, which is located along the Jukskei River in Alexandra.

Stjwetla informal settlement is a typical example of a high-density squatter camp with no basic services at all.

The delegation walked briefly around the settlement and spoke to the locals about the conditions of the place.

The final stop over was made at the Marlboro community hall, where they met with residents from Stjwetla to discuss the problems they were facing regarding sanitation.

The task team is expected to make a final report in January next year.

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