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Toilet war looms

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“The newly appointed service provider is immediately putting up his facilities at various sites.”

COMMUNITY members threatened “war” if their portable toilets were removed after the contract of the company currently providing “amalooloos” to informal settlements throughout the city, was ended.

Residents pointed out that the newly appointed service provider had yet to install their toilets and that they were not prepared to go back to relieving themselves in the bushes.

Sanitech, which provides 137 portable toilets to informal settlements, indicated that its month-to-month contract had not been renewed, where the Sol Plaatje Municipality had instructed them to remove all their units from Wednesday (February 26).

Rhythm City spokesperson, Kagiso Aries, said the 230 odd residents who were staying in the area, prevented the removal of the portable toilets on Wednesday afternoon.

“There are about ten toilets in the area and we are happy with the service provider because he maintains the units and provides a good service. Our only gripe is that there are too few toilets. The toilets will not be removed until the new contractor delivers the replacement toilets.”

He stated that the municipality had a duty to disclose which company was awarded the new tender.

Home Valley informal settlers added that they were given notice that their portable toilets would be removed today.

“The people will strike when this happens.”

One Home Valley resident, Letitia Shuping, 68, indicated that she was unable to cross the ditch between the shacks and the veld in order to relieve herself.

“Where are we supposed to go if they take our toilets away? There are tstotsis hiding in the bushes and it is not safe for the elderly and young girls. We have been using these toilets for the past two years.”

Another resident, Margaret Dakoda, stated that they could not close their gates as they had to share the amalooloos.

“There are not enough portable toilets and we are the ones who clean them because it was installed in our yard. The vagrants and glue sniffers also make use of these toilets.”

She added that during strong winds the roofs of the amalooloos blew off.

“The door handle is broken and we had to fasten it using a piece of wire.”

Spokesperson for Sol Plaatje Municipality, Sello Matsie, confirmed that Sanitech had been instructed to remove their facilities on site.

“The newly appointed service provider is immediately putting up his facilities at various sites.”

He indicated that the municipality did not sign any formal agreement or contact with Sanitech.

“Therefore no legal obligation exists and therefore, no contract was terminated.”

Matsie said the cost of hiring and servicing 137 chemical toilets amounted to approximately

R220 000 per month.

“The municipality follows all processes regarding the publishing of awarded contracts. The information will be made available once that process has been fully observed.”

He added that the bid for the provision of chemical toilets for informal areas was advertised on July 5 2019.

“In terms of the procurement process, the municipality has approved procedures to deal with all issues relating to bidders’ objections and dissatisfaction about tendering procedures.

“Any aggrieved bidder must submit his or her application accordingly.”