Tunatazama - Community Monitors

Toilet Problem in Ikemeleng. extract from Rustenburg Review 2011.

The community of Ikemeleng does not have a proper sewage system. Some people have the bucket system; others dig their own pit toilets. Many people are forced to use the bushes. Our group talked to the community about their problems.

The Bucket System.

It was in 2006 when the residents from one section of Ikemeleng heard about their removal in making way for the expansion of the open cast mining. Aquarius platinum mining was visibly at the fore in pursuing the residents move. Plenty of the promises were made but never accomplished. One of the promises made was that temporary toilets will be used for the period of six months This was an agreement reached during a meeting with the community. Soon the people were told that houses will follow with water and sanitation. People where very happy thinking that soon after their removal, things will be as was said to them. At first the toilets services were better than the contractor of this present day. This system was run by Talisman during the reign of Mr Fourie, but when Mrs Moraka took over from Fourie, she brought in Santshu to take over from Talisman as she complained that Talisman was very expensive.

That’s how the bucket system was introduced in Ikemeleng. We interviewed residents who used the bucket system. This is what they said

          Winter time is better than summer. In summer there are a lot of worms in the buckets and flies all around. The people who come to drain the toilet don come on time. The bucket overflows. We cannot lock the doors of the toilet because many people share the toilet. At least 3 houses share one toilet.

          The buckets fill up very quickly. In summer there are more flies. Three households are sharing one toilet; this means that more thirty people are using one toilet. In three days the buckets are full.

          Children are opening it easily. The toilet pot can easily fall down.  The children get sick because of flies that come from the toilet every day.  Other toilets are seven meters away from the house. So from our houses we get the stink from the toilet. Many are forced to find alternatives such as the bush to relieve them because sometimes there are for toilet.

          They are more than ten and they are using one toilet.  Some of them have children and the toilets are situated outside the gate.  During night we are afraid to go toilet, because they can be harmed, raped or either killed.  Summer time is bad for them to go to toilet because of flies and worms.

          The toilets are next to the road, during weekend people, especially women are afraid to go to toilet because people are strolling around their street.  They can be raped or robbed.  Children are playing around the toilet and it can easily fall down, because the doors are not locked.

The pit toilet problem

No sewage system caused decay into our Ikemeleng community.  After many years of what we called democracy which many hope that it will better their lives but nothing has changed for the Ikemeleng community. People have dug pits toilets close to their house. During the rain the pits fill with water and water runs through to the streams nearby. When the day becomes hot the whole place stinks.

When we interviewed people about the problems of the pit toilets many people did not feel free to give their names as they feared they might offend others.