Toilet solution in the pipeline

We recognise that, because of historical divisions, redress needs to be prioritised so that all residents have access to opportunities and services that were previously denied to many people.

Cape Town, as acknowledged by the national government, has set the highest standard in the country for the provision of basic services. In keeping with this, the city is committed to providing quality sanitation services to the residents of Khayelitsha. We acknowledge that vast challenges remain. We know that many people have to contend with less-than-ideal situations. And we know that sanitation remains a problem ("Sanitation plan goes down drain", October 19).

We are constantly trying to find innovative and sustainable solutions. The repair and maintenance of flushing toilets in Khayelitsha are done by the city's internal depots. The cleaning of flushing toilets is usually done daily. Portable toilets are serviced three times a week by an outsourced provider that is monitored on an ongoing basis. Systems are in place to ensure compliance with contract obligations.

This year, the city began the janitorial services project. It was the first of its kind in South Africa and an important part of our strategy to improve delivery in informal settlements.

Admittedly, there have been problems. We have met with relevant organisations and have a plan to get better service back on track. It includes improving social facilitation and communication with communities, community education on health and sanitation issues, health and safety for workers, the training of janitors and informing communities about agreements with contractors so they can help to monitor performance.

Monthly monitoring meetings will be scheduled with the mayor's office and all other stakeholders. The mayor will closely monitor the revised roll-out of this service to communities.

The city will deploy additional resources to assist with the management and upscaling of this programme. – Priya Reddy, Cape Town mayoral committee media co-ordinator

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