There has been a shocking increase of 14 000 in the number of households using the bucket toilet system in the Eastern Cape. A report released today by Statistics South Africa reveals that the use of bucket system toilets had risen from 38 606 units in 2012 to an alarming 52 732 units in 2013.
The bucket system is an assault on the dignity of our citizens. It is unacceptable that people have to live in contravention of Section 24 of the Bill of Rights in our Constitution which states that “everyone has their right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being”.
This increase of the use of the bucket system is by far the highest in the country. Second highest was KwaZulu-Natal, where an increase from 0 in 2012 to 1 585 in 2013 was recorded. In North-West thee was an increase of 269 unit, from 1 481 in 2012 to 1 750 in 2013. In all other provinces, the use of the bucket system decreased.
These figures fly in the face of repeated undertaking by the government to eradicate the bucket system.
I will be submitting legislature questions to the MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs, Fikile Xasa, asking him why there has been this increase in bucket toilet usage and what plans are in place to eradicate this inhumane and insulting sanitation method for our communities.
One of the main contributing factors leading to the increase in the use of the bucket toilet system remains inadequate bulk infrastructure challenges and blocked projects.
The eradication of the bucket toilet system and water and sanitation provision must become a major priority for service delivery in the province.