ONE quarter of the people living in Eastern Cape informal settlements have access to decent toilets.

Human settlements MEC Helen Sauls-August gave the figure in response to a DA parliamentary question on the quality of life of people living in shacks in the Eastern Cape and what sanitation services had been provided for them.

Sauls-August’s written response to the legislature revealed that there are 608 435 informal dwellings in the province’s 387 informal settlements, with 146 697 of those makeshift homes having access to sanitation services.

This equates to 24% of the province’s settlement dwellings receiving toilet and hygiene services.

According to Sauls-August’s report, of the 608 435 informal dwellings in the province:

  • 24 000 receive piped water (18%);
  • Street stand pipes were accessed by 49 352 (37%) of dwellings while a mere 8% or 10 670 dwellings had the luxury of flush toilets;
  • Pit latrines serviced 25 342 units (19%); and
  • The inhumane bucket system is still utilised by 36 000 (27%).

The MEC added that sites had been serviced in East London’s Duncan Village and Mzamomhle informal settlements, as well as in Elliotdale, Mt Ayliff, Uitenhage, Molteno and Camdeboo Municipality.

DA MPL and human settlements spokesman Dacre Haddon said it was a disgrace that 19 years into democracy, residents of informal settlements were still living in squalor. —