Task team takes on bucket toilets

The Free State has a backlog of 10 781 bucket toilets to meet the target set in the bucket eradication programme, according to the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS).

The number excludes a backlog of 57 270 in the Mangaung Metro Municipality.

In the Mangaung Metro, according to the department, 33 768 buckets or ventilated improved pit-latrines (VIPs), were replaced between 2009 and 2018.

The latest figure on the bucket toilets backlog, as revealed by the department, followed an oversight conducted by parliament’s portfolio committee on water and sanitation.

The oversight was on 15 and 16 August in towns where the bucket toilet system backlog is still an issue of graved concern.

Led by Yvonne Phosa, chairperson of the standing committee on appropriations, and Derick Mnguni, member of the committee on water and sanitation, the oversight visit was conducted in Thaba Nchu, Botshabelo, Sene­kal, Clocolan Marquard and Winburg.

The contingent committee members were accompanied by officials of DWS and representatives serving on the established joint task team focusing on the eradication of the bucket toilet system.

The joint task team consists of representatives of the DWS, Mangaung Metro, South African Local Government Association, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, and Bloemwater.

The committee is expected to return in three months to view the progress to eradicate the bucket toilet system in the Free State.

Shortage of bulk supply has been identified as the factor for the backlog in the Mangaung Metro, and promise has been made to prioritise supply during this financial year.

The department stated that the backlogs are increased by the number of informal settlements.