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Over 3 300 bucket toilets eradicated in the Eastern Cape says Dept

Nov 28, 2018
Over 3 300 bucket toilets eradicated in the Eastern Cape says Dept

The Department of Water and Sanitation told Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation that it has made progress with its Bucket Eradication Programme in the Eastern Cape with thousands of bucket toilets replaced this year.

"The National Sanitation Policy (2016) is based on the three critical bases, namely: Basic Sanitation, Basic Sanitation Facility and Basic Sanitation Service. Basic Sanitation is about Lowest Cost appropriate system, Toilet & hand-washing facility and Safe for use," said Departmental spokesperson, Sputnik Ratau.

"Basic sanitation Facility refers to a Facility which considers natural resource protection and is Socially acceptable, whilst Basic Sanitation Service is about Environmentally sustainable, Safe removal of human waste, and grey-water & wastewater from the premises.

"Completing the Bucket Eradication Programme was scheduled for March 2019. For the 2018/19 Budget Allocation an amount of R608 million was availed through the Water and Sanitation Infrastructure Grant (WSIG) to complete Reticulation (Sewer Collector Infrastructure), and R440 million Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant (RBIG) for Bulk Infrastructure (bulk pipes and pump-stations)."

Four provinces targeted by bucket toilets eradiction programme

Ratau said that the programme targeted four provinces, namely the Eastern Cape, Free State, Northern Cape and North West Province with bucket toilets in formal areas.

"Targets were achieved in two provinces, i.e. in the Eastern Cape where 3 319 bucket toilets were eradicated and in the North West  where 224 bucket toilets were eradicated.

"Outstanding Works for 2018/19 is in the Free State and Northern Cape, where work is in progress," he said.

"The Members of the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation raised issues in relation to the working relations between the DWS and the Water Research Commission that have not been translated into actions.

"There was also a question why there has been a moving of the target dates since 2006."

He said there was also a question around what can be done to ensure the delivery of this critical service as South Africa is water scarce, whetehr ther is a means of looking at the capacity of the country’s dams, especially looking at the matter of regular maintenance of the dams, e.g. de-silting, ensuring there is less pollution therefore ensuring available water is potable.

The DWS delegation was led by Deputy Minister Pamela Tshwete and Acting DirectorGeneral, Ms Deborah Mochotlhi. Deputy Minister Tshwete remarked that “South Africa is water scarce; other alternatives need to be looked into. The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has indicated that there are new technologies and other solutions that can be of assistance.

"These are of South African origin, cost effective and efficient. Flushing is not always possible.

“There is also the matter that needs attention, that of the expansion of Waste Water Treatment Works (WWTW), which process will be costly. We also need to loo at the reuse of sludge for fertilisers and energy”.

Bucket toilets eradication programme restores dignity to residents

As part of her presentation, DDG Zandile Makhathini indicated that “currently we are busy with measuring the programme, as well as the scoping and re-evaluation of scope. The Bill of Quantities and designs will determine timelines. Gant charts for each programme are still being developed to indicate risks and areas that might hinder progress”.

Ratau said that one of the biggest challenges is about socially acceptable deliverables.

"It will also be difficult to retrofit toilets into already standing house structures."

At the conclusion of the meeting, the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, Mlungisi Johnson, indicated that “the report was on work which is still in progress.

"Periodic reports will be essential to keep up with progress or lack thereof on the programme.

“Let us not forget that the main issue on this service is about sanitation as a means towards dignity.

"That being the thinking, one would have thought that there would have been speedy achievement of targets, attaching a sense of importance to this work. The worst thing is that only African people are affected by this; I would have wished for all of us to understand that context, that the sanitation service is meant to bring a better life to people."

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