The Democratic Alliance (DA) has expressed outrage over the revelation that there are still 2.278 million households in South Africa that don’t have toilets.
The party, which has borne the brunt of criticisms of its handling of sanitation in the Western Cape in the past, was reacting to information provided by Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale in response to a parliamentary question.
According to Times Live, the DA, which called the situation “an utter disgrace,” believes that that government’s inability to provide the facilities was impinging on the affected citizens’ constitutional right to dignity.
The DA called for Sexwale to present a report of the findings of the sanitation task team, which was established in September 2011 and led by Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
In response to the opposition party’s criticisms of the government’s failure to meet its sanitation deadline, Sexwale blamed a lack of funds and mismanagement at a municipal level, Times Live reported.
While the members of parliament were engaged in finger pointing, the SABC reported that the sanitation situation in the Kosmos informal settlement near Hartbeespoort Dam in the North West should be regarded as a health hazard.
According to the national broadcaster, more than 400 residents have to share a single toilet, which is at least 390 residents above the recommended limit.
The Madibeng municipality has promised that temporary toilets will be provided before the end of June, while the municipality builds proper toilets.
Municipal council member Molebogeng Nqeto was quoted by the SABC as saying: “As a municipality we are in the process of building our own toilets, so that each and every household can have its own toilets.”