City installs 100 full flush toilets in Sweet Homes, Philippi

25 May 2022 in Where We Govern

On Wednesday, 25 May the City’s Water and Sanitation Directorate officially handed over 100 full flush toilets which are ready to service the Sweet Homes community. This is testament to the City’s commitment to improving sanitation in informal settlements. Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Sanitation Councillor Zahid Badroodien, ward councillor Lungisa Somdaka, community leaders and the community were on site to celebrate the newly installed toilets which boosts existing services to the residents.

The City’s Water and Sanitation Directorate has invested about R2 million to install 100 full flush toilets in Sweet Homes, Philippi. Another 200 full flush toilets will still be installed in a phased approach.

‘The community was initially serviced by 300 full flush toilets. 80 toilets were damaged in a fire and 200 damaged beyond repairs, with the pipeline regularly blocked by foreign objects that had entered the system either through flushing or sewer manholes.

‘After much planning and consultation with the community and ward councillor, this project to install full flush toilets is underway and has already installed 100 toilets. During this time, residents were provided with chemical toilets. Eventually 320 full flush toilets will be provided to the community, which is 20 more toilets than initially. This project includes new toilet structures with slabs, sewer pipelines, water pipeline, new toilet cisterns and plumbing works,’ said Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Sanitation Councillor Zahid Badroodien.

It is always first choice for the City to provide full flush toilets informal settlements where possible it is legally and physically possible to do so. Factors such as space and constraints including whether land is privately owned, situated in a wetland, or on a sand dune, need to be considered when providing full flush toilets. Full flush toilets can only be installed in certain parts of an informal settlement where there is space for laying of pipes or construction of toilet blocks and they need to be connected to the sewer network.

‘Thank you to the Water and Sanitation Directorate, Human Settlements Directorate, as well as the ward councillor and community’s leadership team who all played integral roles throughout this project so it could transition from being a plan on paper to a reality that benefits the local community. Internally City departments had to work on the logistics of the plan, which included where to install the toilets and how will they connect to the existing sewer network. Consultation with the community and ward councillor was also key to the progress and welcoming of this project,’ said Councillor Badroodien.

Janitors will be selected from the Jobseekers Database via the EPWP programme and be employed to clean and inspect the toilets and report on the condition of the toilets.

Currently, more than 14 000 full-flush toilets have been installed in informal settlements across the city where possible. This is in addition to other sanitation types provided in informal settlements.

Residents are encouraged to help the City look after these communal toilets.

‘We ask residents to please help our teams look after the infrastructure. This is to ensure that this important sanitation service is not disrupted due to vandalism or foreign objects such as wipes, diapers, sanitary pads or any other item being flushed down the toilets causing the pipeline to be blocked. Only toilet paper and human waste should be flushed. Residents are encouraged to report any vandalism or sewer blockages as soon as possible so they can be resolved. Residents are also reminded to use solid waste services provided to get rid of their waste correctly,’ said Councillor Badroodien.

Resident can log their service request using one of the following channels:

Anonymous tip-offs about vandalism welcomed:

If you have witnessed an incident or are aware of incidents that could still happen, please report it by phoning:

  • From a landline call 107 for free.
  • From a cellphone – call 021 480 7700 or call 112 for free and ask for City of Cape Town’s Public Emergency Call Center.