Lindelani residents have to clean communal toilets

No cleaning services since September

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A photo of a woman and child in front of toilets in Lindelani Park.
Residents of Lindelani Park in Khayelitsha have had to clean their own communal toilets for months. Photo by Masixole Feni.

Residents of Lindelani Park also known as Egwaveni in Khayelitsha have been cleaning their own communal toilets for the past five months.

The City’s janitorial services have not been visible in the area since September, and residents like Siseko Dyasi have taken it upon themselves to clean the toilets.

Residents have also had to close up open drains to ensure children’s safety.

“These toilets have not been serviced for a long time,” says Dyasi. “Where are the people who are supposed to be cleaning them?

“We have kids who play here, that is why we clean the toilets and have decided to close the drains ourselves.

Dyasi says some residents employed by the City to clean the toilets are not doing so.

“I am tired of cleaning these toilets. When we ask the people who were called to do this job they say they haven’t received the injections. What about us, who have been cleaning without injections, don’t we get sick?”

The community has 12 flush toilets some of which do not work. These toilets are used by residents and by workers at the nearby supermarkets.

Repairs foreman for the City of Cape Town Thulani Mgengwana says his department only hears of problems with toilets through janitors.

“If there are no janitors, then there is no one to alert us of any issues.

“We have a major problem with those toilets: they are used by everyone. People avoid paying to use toilets in the centre and use these. They are not locked, and no one is looking after them,” says Mgengwana.

Councillor Ernest Sonnenberg, Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services, acknowledged that the toilets were last cleaned in September.

“The cleaning of toilets, and keeping them clean is, however, a shared responsibility between the City and the residents themselves.

“Janitorial services are a top-up service, meant to supplement the community, and are not offered as a matter of course,” said Sonnenberg.

When GroundUp asked why janitors were not operating in the area, Sonnenberg said in September the City had been informed of a new requirement that workers’ blood had to be tested before innoculations could take place.

He said janitors were scheduled to receive their innoculations on 21 January 2015 and would begin work soon afterwards.

TOPICS:  Government Sanitation

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