The Human Rights Commission is investigating why about 1 600 toilets in a Free State municipality have been left without enclosures for the past eight years, the Sunday Times reported.
A complaint had been laid with the commission, its spokesperson Vincent Moaga told the paper.
The toilets are located in Rammulotsi, near Viljoenskroon, in the ANC-run Moqhaka municipality.
Municipal acting technical services manager Mike Lelaka was quoted as saying: “Our audit indicated that there were 1 620 toilets which were left unattended to, the so-called open toilets.”
He said there was an agreement with residents that the municipality would provide only sanitation, and residents would put up the enclosures.
It would cost the council more than R8-million to cover about 200 toilets as part of the next phase of the project (about R40 000 per toilet), but only R4,2-million was currently available.
‘It’s worse if that’s being done by an ANC municipality’
“Everything is dependent on funding, but we have approached the departments of water affairs and human settlements. We are still awaiting a response from them.”
ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu told the paper: “We will investigate, and whoever is responsible will have to answer. We cannot allow our people to be disrespected like that. It’s even worse if that’s being done by an ANC municipality.”
On April 29 the Western Cape High Court ordered the Democratic Alliance-led City of Cape Town to enclose 1 316 toilets in the Makhaza settlement on the Cape Flats.
The DA was taken to court by the African National Congress Youth League, which accused it of violating residents’ right to human dignity after 51 toilets were erected without enclosures in Makhaza in December 2009. – Sapa