A visit to the Kouga by Stevens Mokgalapa, the DA Shadow Minister of Human Settlements led to the shocking discovery of 3 292 bucket toilets in the Kouga Local Municipality and a further 1 367 households without any toilets.
The backlog of RDP housing is estimated to be over 9 000.
“What we found in these areas was a violation of resident’s basic rights due to lack of access to sanitation facilities and shoddy RDP housing’, said Mokgalapa.
This is the reality for many people in the Eastern Cape. Census data suggests that 10 000 households in the Eastern Cape are using the bucket system and 290 000 households are without any access to sanitation services.
“The failure of Kouga Municipality to deliver services requires investigation. The DA will therefore write to the Human Rights Commission (HRC) requesting an urgent investigation of the poor sanitation and housing delivery within the municipality and the province at large”, added Mokgalapa.
The DA investigation revealed the following:
Residents of Shukushukuma (Humansdorp) living next to a sewerage farm, with sewerage flowing through the streets. The sewerage farm is not enclosed and four children have thus far drowned.
In Polla Park (Humansdorp) informal settlement, 300 shacks also situated near the same sewerage farm. Most of the residents of Polla Park are still using bucket toilets, which are rarely serviced by the municipality. The amount of chemical toilets in the area have decreased by over 60% due to a supposed lack of municipal funds.
450 shacks in Stofwolk (Humansdorp) with a vast majority of residents still using bucket toilets.
There are an estimated 2 000 shacks with no toilets in Ocean View (Jeffreys Bay). There have been some RDP houses built and handed over to residents in the area. However, toilets in those RDP houses have not been connected to the local sewerage systems, rendering them useless.
Last year, Kouga Local Municipality was rated the worst performing municipality in the entire Eastern Cape, only scoring 21 out of a possible 100 index points in a Ratings Africa report.
It did not have to be like this. The DA took office in Kouga Local Municipality in 2000 and brought a municipality on the brink of bankruptcy and struggling to deliver basic services back on track.
Under the DA, Kouga Local Municipality’s finances were sound and service delivery drastically improved. The work to turn around the legacy of Apartheid was started.
But just two years later, after floor crossing in 2002, the ANC regained control of the municipality. By 2004 the municipality was entirely bankrupt again, hampering the delivery of services to the poor.
Kouga Local Municipality’s sanitation and delivery track record stinks. The people deserve better. They deserve the DA.
We will continue to fight to ensure the failing government in the area is held to account and that people of Kouga receive the service delivery they deserve and were promised.