Kurland Community Members Demand Better Toilets

Community members in Plettenberg Bay Kurland say they are tired of using broken toilets.

Mzwabantu Nyathi Smoki is a community leader and has been living in Kurland for more than 10 years. He says the community has since resorted to fixing the toilets themselves because the Bitou Municipality has failed to assist them.

“Zawazawa is an informal settlement that shares flushing public toilets,the community now closes the toilets during day time and hide the keys, if you need toilets you need to go around knocking on different doors to ask for a key, now everyone will know you need a toilet.  I don’t blame neighbours it is painful to see toilets destroyed or pipes blocked and when you call for maintenance it does not arrive” said Nyathi.

“These toilets are dirty and damaged they can not accommodate the whole community anymore, because it has grown since the last time they were built.

There are more shacks now, we were young kids staying with parents when they built these toilets, we have now moved from home to stay on our own. The toilets have gotten worse” said Bonisile Mdidwa who also lives in Kurland.

“It is the third wave of covid and we use same toilets, other toilets do not have taps from outside or drain, we don’t wash hands in some toilets, we stand a great chance of infecting each other with Covid-19 because we use same toilets all of us, “ said Mdidwa

“I feel disrespected when it’s time to use the toilet and I have to go around looking for a key to open the locked door or check which toilet works.

This has no dignity, even senior citizens are subjected to this” concluded Mdidwa

The community members say they have informed their ward Councillor Jesicca Kam to report the matter to the local municipality because they stay about 19 minutes away from the municipality and they need to take a taxi to go to town.

Councillor Kam Kam says they have notified the Department of Community Services to improve the ablution facilities, but nothing has come to it.

Section 10 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa provides for the right to human dignity it says, “Everyone has inherent dignity and the right to have their dignity respected and protected”.

Human dignity is a central value of the objective, normative value system established by the Constitution. The right to human dignity is perhaps the pre-eminent value in our Constitution. However, this right to human dignity cannot be realised if all the other socio-economic rights are not realised.

Section 1 of the Constitution states that the Republic of South Africa is founded on the values of human dignity, the achievement of equality and the advancement of human rights and freedoms. Recognising a right to dignity is an acknowledgement of the intrinsic worth of human beings. Human beings are entitled to be treated as worthy of respect and concern.

The right to human dignity is the foundation of many of the other rights in the Bill of Rights. The Constitutional Court has described the rights to life and human dignity as the most important of all human rights.

Bitou Municipality is yet to respond to the media inquiries sent to their communications department.

By Siphokazi Mnyobe

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