My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness…. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us. Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues?
17 years after our first democratic election, half a million people in Cape Town’s informal settlements do not have access to clean, safe, hygienic or private toilets and water sources.
Nationally, more than 10.5 million people do not have access to basic sanitation. Where toilets do exist they are often dirty, unhealthy places of danger. The provision of “Basic Sanitation” to informal settlements is the responsibility of every local government.
“Basic Sanitation” is defined as a shared toilet (5 families per toilet) which is safe, reliable, environmentally sound, easy to keep clean, provides privacy and protection against the weather, well ventilated, keeps smells to a minimum, prevents the spread of sanitation-related diseases and the entry and exit of flies and other disease-carrying pests.
This basic standard is out of reach for many living in Khayelitsha – an area containing the City’s largest informal settlements and the area in which the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) is based – and similar underdeveloped areas across the city and country. The simplest and most private bodily functions – using a toilet or drinking water – are some of the most dangerous activities for residents. These communities bear the overwhelming burden of crime. The prospect of a criminal attack is the first consideration before the use of a toilet. Residents of both sexes and all ages are frequently robbed, raped, assaulted and murdered on the way to relieve themselves in a toilet or empty clearing often very far from their homes.
Risks are not limited to acts of crime. Permanent toilets and water services are unhygienic, poorly monitored and maintained, and insufficiently supplied by the City. This has resulted in very high rates of worms, gastroenteritis, and diarrhoea; particularly in children.
The supply of insufficient, inadequate and poorly maintained sanitation services to informal settlements is a violation of the constitutional rights of all to safety, health, dignity, privacy and an equal access to water and sanitation. It is an emergency which affects all residents in a number of ways on a daily basis, and in many cases has become a matter of life and death.
The SJC is committed to realising the right of all people in South Africa to be free of all forms of violence whether from public or private sources. The SJC’s first step is to demand safe, clean, hygienic and private sanitation facilities for residents in Khayelitsha, and later other informal settlements across the City and Country.
We therefore demand from the Mayor and City of Cape Town:
1. An implementation plan for adequate maintenance, monitoring, and coordination of existing sanitation services in Khayelitsha’s informal settlements.
2. A commitment, public consultation, implementation plan and budget to ensure that every household in Khayelitsha’s informal settlements has access to a basic sanitation and access to water within an agreed upon timeframe following consultation.
Thina bahlali baseKapa:
SIFUNA IITOILET EZIKHUSELEKILEYO, EZICOCEKILEYO NEZINIKA ISIDIMA!
Kwiminya eli-17 emva kwenkululeko, isiqingatha sesigidi sabantu abahlala ematyotyombeni kwisixeko saseKapa abanazitoilet ezicocekileyo, ezikhuselekileyo nezinika isidima.
Kwizwelonke, bangapha kwezigidi ezingama-12 abantu abangenazinkonzo zothutho lwelindle namanzi.. Apho iitoilet zikhoyo ixesha elininzi zikwiindawo ezinengozi kwaye zingcolile, zingacocekanga.
Umgaqo siseko wesixeko saseKapa nowezwe lonke uchaza iinkonzo zothutho lwelindle njenge “itoilet yomphakathi(itoilet nganye isetyenziswa zizindlu eziyi-5) ekhuselekileyo, ethembekileyo, elula ukuyicoca, enika imfihleko nekhusela kwisimo sezulu, enemingxunya eyenza inganuki nekhusela impukane nezinye igrogro eziphethe izigulo.” Kodwa eyona nto yenzekayo ayifani noku.
Lo mgangatho osisiseko awufumaneki kubantu abaninzi abahlala eKhayelitsha – eyona ndawo igcwele oogobi tyholo abaninzi kwisixeko sethu – nakwezinye indawo kwisixeko nakwizwe lonke. Eyona nto ilula kwaye eyimfihlo ongayenza-ukusebenzisa itoilet okanye ukusela amanzi, yeyona nto iyingozi ematyotyombeni – ezi zindawo apho kukho obona bundlobongela buyingozi kweli loMzantsi Afrika. Ingcinga zokuhlaselwa zizikrelemnqa soloko zihleli ezingqondweni kuluntu phambi kokuba lusebenzise itoilet. Abahlali bezini zonke neminyaka beyakhuthuzwa kwaye bebethwa, bahlukunyezwe ngesondo ngelinye ixesha babulawe besiya etoilet, kwaye nezindlu zabo zikhuthuzwa ngoba bezishiye zodwa ngelixa besiya etoilet.
Iingozi ayipheleli kubundlobongela. Iitoilet ezininzi ematyotyombeni azicocekanga, impatho nolungiso lwazo alulunganga kwaye inkonzo zazo azinikezelwa kakuhle sisixeko. Lento yenze ukuba kugcwale isifo seentshulube, nesotyatyazo ngakumbi ezintsaneneni.
Unikezelo olunganelisiyo nelungekho semgagathweni lweetoilet ematyotyombeni apha kwisixeko saseKapa lunyathelo lwamalungelo oluntu okhuseleko, empilo engcono, isidima, imfihleko nokufumana iinkonzo zamanzi nezothutho lwelindle ezilinganayo. Sisehlo esingxamisekileyo esichaphazela bonke abahlali ngeendlela ezininzi mihla le, kwaye ngamaxesha amaninzi iyinto yokufa nokuphila.
Singu-SJC sizimisele ukufezekisa amalungelo oluntu lonke eMzantsi Afrika ukwenzela bangabi ngamaxhoba obundlobongela. Inyathelo lethu lokuqala singu-SJC kukufunela abantu baseKhayelitsha iinkonzo zothutho lwelindle ezicocekileyo, ezikhuselekileyo nezinika isidima nemfihlo.
Ngoko ke sifuna usodolophu nesixeko saseKapa:
1. isicwangciso sokuzisa inkqubo esemgangathweni yokugcina, ukujonga nokuphathwa kweenkonzo zothutho lwelindle ezikhoyo kumatyotyombe aseKhayelitsha.
2. isiqinisekiso, isicwangciso sokuzisa inkqubo kunye nohlahlo lwabiwo mali(budget) ukwenzela yonke indlu esematyotyombeni eKhayelitsha ixhamle kwiinkonzo zothutho lwelindle nezamanzi.
 City of Cape Town via “The Water Dialogues: Cape Town case study” by Karen Goldberg (2009)
 D Department of Water Affairs; http://www.dwa.gov.za/dir_ws/wsnis/default.asp?nStn=introduction (2010)
 Water Services Act (1997); Strategic Framework for Water Services, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (2003); The City of Cape Town Water Services Development Plan (2008/2009)BACK TO TOP