Sep 14, 2012
Paradigm shift needed to sort out sanitation problemBack
Cape Town|Africa|PROJECT|Projects|Road|System|Water|Africa|South Africa|Services|Western Cape|Infrastructure|Tokyo Sexwale|Water
Tabling a summary of the long-awaited report of the Ministerial Sanitation Task Team (MSST) to the portfolio committee on human settlements, Sexwale said the document revealed the neglect government had subjected its people to since 1994.
According to the report, the sanitation backlog in the country currently stood at 2.5-million toilets.
The task team, set up by Sexwale last year following reports of toilet woes in Western Cape, the Free State and Mpumalanga, said the backlog had been halved from five million in 1994.
"It's a critical basic need, the first line of dignity of any human being that we take for granted as we open taps in our houses and as you flush toilets.
"We do this so easily, without realising other people have to hide behind a tree or stand out in the open," Sexwale said.
Provincial visits by members of the MSST showed the ratio of households to toilets in municipalities in all nine provinces.
There was one toilet for every 100 households in the Western Cape following a visit to seven municipalities in the province, the biggest being the City of Cape Town.
In Gauteng, it was established that on average one toilet was shared by 10 households, after visits to three metros, two district municipalities and seven local councils.
The MSST proposed various actions required to solve the toilet problem.
These included the need for better co-ordination and a national plan to tackle the problem.
Sexwale told MPs that a 'Water and Sanitation Master Plan' was being developed by the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission.
"The first thing for common people, the first infrastructure before a road and airport and all these things, even before a house, is a toilet."
The minister re-iterated that Cabinet had bought into a paradigm shift, by including sanitation in the major infrasture projects to be rolled out over the next few years.
"It [sanitation] is Strategic Infrastructure Project (SIP) number 18. It's going to require more money than most other projects. The billions that are required for this are staggering."
Sexwale later questioned government's budget priorities since 1994, including the money spent on the arms deal.
He said social unrest would continue if money was spent unwisely and basic services were not provided.
"These are the symptoms of what insurrections are made of."
He said the bucket system, which was still very evident in South Africa, needed to be addressed immediately, or this could spill over into unrest.
"The Marikanas will repeat itself over and over in this country, until we crumble, if you don't address that first line... sanitation with clean running water... now that's dignity."
The full sanitation report would be made public after being tabled to Cabinet next week.
Sexwale dedicated the report to the young people of Makaza in Khayelitsha and the women of Moqhaka in the Free State, who had to make use of un-enclosed toilets. The "toilet-saga", as it became known, made national headlines after communities protested the indignity they suffered by having not being afforded privacy while using toilets.
Edited by: SapaComment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Construction News
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
This Week's Magazine
JSE-listed real estate investment trust (REIT) Rebosis Property Fund achieved a distribution growth of 8.1% to 99.45c per linked unit in the financial year ended August 31, despite volatile market conditions.
A low-cost, inflatable incubator won this year’s international James Dyson design award, which aims to encourage and inspire the next generation of design engineers.
The World Bank released its ‘Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency’ report last month and ranked South Africa 43 out of 189 global economies for its ease of doing business, with Singapore topping the rankings.
Air Products South Africa officially launched its R300-million Eastern Cape air- separation unit (ASU), at its new manufacturing facility in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), earlier this month. It is the second facility that Air Products launched in South...
BMW South Africa (SA) has signed a power purchasing agreement with energy company Bio2Watt. The offtake partnership will bring renewable energy to the carmaker’s Rosslyn plant, north of Pretoria.