Flies buzz around and an overwhelming stench comes from the toilet block in K2 informal settlement in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, reports GroundUp.

“These are the worst toilets in this ward. The City doesn’t clean them,” says Zanethemba Mthimkhulu, who works as a street cleaner.

“While janitors were still working here, we used to find the toilets clean and just collect rubbish in the streets. Now, we as cleaners are doing a job that is not ours,” he said.

Some toilets are blocked and dirty while others have no doors or cisterns. One block of toilets has no tap and the sink is blocked.

Zanele Nqayi said she used to clean the toilets before they became blocked and dirty.

“I gave up cleaning the toilets after the cistern stopped working. The water used to stream from the burst toilet pipe into the toilets while I tried to clean them,” she said.

Ndileka Matiwane said she and other residents attempted to clean the toilets after City janitors stopped working in the area.

‘The filth has become too much for us to deal with’

“We used to come together, bring brooms and disinfectants and clean the toilets, but now the filth has become too much for us to deal with,” she said.

Matiwane said she and other youths desperately want to work as janitors for the City.

“We are on the job-seekers database of the City … We are ready to work.”

Mayoral Committee Member for Area East, Councillor Anda Ntsodo, said janitorial service in the area had been suspended due to “challenges with the procurement of inoculations”.

Ntosodo said illegal connections to the sewer system had caused sewage to back up.

“The City has dispatched a team to remove blockages … Furthermore, the doors of two toilets have been removed and a contractor will be arranged to replace them, as missing doors lead to increased instances of vandalism and illegal dumping in the toilets.”

Ntsodo said residents using the toilets should take special care to leave the toilets in a good condition for the next person until this issue can be resolved.

Community leader Phatheka Mute showing GroundUp the current state of one of the toilets. (Vincent Lali, GroundUp)

Residents of K2 informal settlement in Khayelitsha say their toilets haven’t been cleaned this year. (Vincent Lali, GroundUp)

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