No money for broken toilets in Duncan Village's C Section

There are only two working toilets for about 200 residents living in C Section of Duncan Village in East London.

Bonisile Nombewu of the municipality's sanitation services told GroundUp: "I am aware that our people are in need of sanitation services in Duncan Village… It's been over a year since the toilets were maintained really. However, this financial year, the municipality doesn't have any funds to clean and maintain toilets … There are also no plans in place to erect any toilets in the township this financial year."

He could not confirm when a budget would be available to fix the broken toilets.

Nombewu advised residents: "They must hold on and work together in keeping those that are working clean."

But residents are demanding that Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality provide them with basic sanitation.

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"We breathe shit, each and every day here… We are not asking for much, just our basic right to sanitation," said resident Sisipho Koti.

"This is inhumane."

Resident Andile George said: "We don't have a tap in the whole area. There is supposed to be a communal tap situated here. It was broken a long time ago. We walk a long distance to fetch water."

Nolungile Mani, who is responsible for cleaning the toilets, said residents were partly responsible for the blockages.

"People insert used diapers and bones inside the toilets. So, they are partly responsible for the blockages. It is true that they are short, because there are many people that use them. Some come from as far as eNtilini, which is a distance away and use them. Sometimes people relieve themselves in buckets and empty them in a drain here," said Mani.

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Ward 7 councillor Clara Morolong-Yekiso said she had reported the issue to the municipality numerous times.

"This problem is all over Duncan Village and it is well known. I complain about this each and every day, but nothing gets done at the end of the day. I advise residents to properly take care of the working toilets and keep them clean in the meantime. For their own benefit," she said.