The Executive Mayor of George, Ald Leon van Wyk and senior Councillors from George Municipality were delighted to officially hand over 24 new flush toilets to residents of the Kleinkrantz Informal Settlement on Wednesday, 10 March.
Ald van Wyk noted that this was an important project where the municipality installed concrete slabs for the toilets, and the flush toilets were connected the existing water pipeline providing a positive change for residents who have used chemical toilets for many years.
Jonathan Miggels was so excited with his new ‘throne’ that he almost immediately painted it. Miggels has been a resident for 26 years in the settlement. He is here with Mayor Van Wyk who officially handed over the facilities.
Claudine van Staden and her husband, William, have been living in the Kleinkrantz Informal settlement for 26 years. Claudine, who runs a soup kitchen in the settlement says the flush toilets are more hygienic for her family and the rest of the residents.
Jonathan Miggels was so excited with his new ‘throne’ that he almost immediately painted it. “I am proud of the new facility and will keep it clean and maintain it. I’ve been a resident for 26 years in the settlement and this new toilet is definitely more convenient than the chemical toilets they used previously.”
Cllr Raybin Figland, Portfolio Councillor of Housing Settlements, says he is proud of the upgrade to a better facility and that this was a step in the right direction, to restoring the dignity of residents. Cllr Marlene Barnardt, Ward Councillor for Kleinkrantz, says she and the residents can hardly contain their excitement with the new facilities and together with the residents, she has many plans to make the toilet facilities even more attractive.
Edwin Herandien, Deputy Director: Human Settlements confirmed plastic doors have been used for the facilities to deter vandals from breaking the doors.
There are 66 families residing in the settlement. During the roll-out of the Informal Settlements’ masterplan, a total of 24 chemical toilets and 8 taps were provided to the inhabitants residing in this settlement. The toilets were provided from grant funding on a ratio of 1 sanitation facility for every 5 structures and 1 tap for every 25 structures as per the norm prescribed by the National Department of Human Settlements. The area where the settlement is situated is not level and the Municipality had to move toilets closer to structures where the elderly or disabled people live.
The George Municipality made funding available on the budget for the upgrading of informal settlements and this settlement was chosen due to the fact that water-borne toilets could easily be connected to the sewer system at a minimal cost. Existing toilet structures, harvested from another project, were upgraded (new toilet pots and cisterns installed) and utilised for this project which further reduced the cost. An additional 12 taps were also provided to the settlement.
Herandien said the service of 24 chemical toilets cost the Municipality an astronomical amount of around R18 000 per month. The project commenced at the end of January 2021 and the completion date of the project was February 2021.
Caption: At the freshly painted flush toilet are from left, Cllr Marlene Barnardt, Executive Mayor Leon van Wyk, Jonathan Miggels, the beneficiary of the flush toilet and Cllr Raybin Figland, Portfolio Councillor for Human Settlements.