Fallen toilets

Marlene Punt, Schaapkraal

I live on a property on the corner of Olieboom and Schaap roads, Schaapkraal, opposite the informal settlement known as Jim se Bos.

During August 2015, concrete toilets were delivered to the settlement. They were placed on the opposite side of the settlement up against my boundary wall. The toilets were never installed on concrete bases as they should have been and most of them are incomplete. Only three were used. The first danger is that the people are expected to cross the very busy Olieboom Road.

On Friday May 27, this year one, of the toilets fell over, damaging my vibracrete wall. After visits to various offices and an email to the Department of Safety and Security, nothing was done.

After a week of problems with the children running onto my property, I was forced to take a hammer and brake the concrete structure in order to repair the wall.

On Saturday night I was doing my usual patrols on the property for security, when I noticed water streaming onto it. Another toilet had fallen against the wall, in the process rupturing the main water line running between the wall and the toilets.

I reported the problem, and at about 2am, one valve was closed. There was less water running onto the property, but it still caused one building to flood.

I again phoned the water department and only after 9am, was the water shut down completely. So much for conserving water. The leak was only repaired in the afternoon and water reconnected at 2.30pm.

If the municipality had just done the installation of the toilets correctly, none of this wastage would have been necessary.

The fallen toilets are still resting against the wall with all the slabs broken. So I am left with the same frustration of five months ago to get someone to move the toilet.

* Ernest Sonnenberg, Mayoral committee member for utility services, responds: “The toilets in question were temporarily placed there to make way for the construction of the road next to the informal settlement. Unfortunately, the contractors took longer to finish the road than expected.

A City official visited the area and found that one concrete structure had fallen and damaged a boundary wall (vibracrete wall) and that some of the structures fell on the ground when City teams were fixing burst pipes that run along the wall. The road construction has since been completed.

Unfortunately, the structures cannot be put back to their original position because a surfaced sidewalk has been constructed. The City has requested the community leaders to identify new positions for the toilet structures and they have committed to get back to the City this week.