The issue of water and sanitation in South Africa remains one of the most highly contested service delivery concerns in South Africa. Events such as the 2013 protest which resulted in the disposal of human waste at Cape Town International Airport highlight the plight of South Africans whose quality of life is affected by lack of good sanitation.
When budget allocations were concluded for various municipalities across the country, The City of Ekurhuleni made it a priority to supply residents in need of toilets with the resources and services they required to find relief when nature calls. The chemical toilets are designed to break down waste matter in the holding tank for easy removal, killing germs whilst reducing unpleasant odors and the build-up of gas, helping to ensure the longevity of the toilet. With this came the advantage of improved safety and hygiene, factors that also make living environments less susceptible to fester diseases and triggers that may lead to illnesses caused by decaying human waste. The risk of children falling into toilets and suffocating has also been significantly reduced.
Residents of The City of Ekurhuleni look back on memories of a constant foul smell pervading their yards and becoming a constant reminder of the large disparity between those who have and those who have not. The provision of chemical toilets has changed the lives of many people and served not only health and sanitation, but it has also restored people’s trust in the government and revived their hope for a better tomorrow. To no longer have to dig pit toilets and rely on soil to contain human waste, which also erodes the agricultural value of the soil over time, is a step in the right direction toward levelling the playing field when it comes to closing the gap between the rich and the poor in South Africa.
Before the establishment of chemical toilets, residents had no choice but to tolerate the consequences of pit toilets and accept them as a persisting feature of their day-to-day lives. The City of Ekurhuleni continues to implement research-based systems designed to facilitate the process of improving the access of water and sanitation to the people. The methods through which human waste is processed in communities that do not have flushing toilets are closely monitored and maintained to ensure the progress of rural and township communities.
It is the aim of community development projects to create facilities that keep advancing in order to build a future South Africa’s children can look forward to being a part of. This is also one of the ways in which a productive workforce can be made out of rural dwellers, which will contribute to the country’s economic growth.
Through continuous research and development, the ideal of a mobile flushing toilet in every rural/township home is achievable. The steps taken by municipal government are heading towards the realization of this dream. A dream The City of Ekurhuleni has already began to fulfill.