How to go to the toilet in South Africa

Residents of a shack settlement in Khayelitsha–that’s an area of cheap housing and squatter shacks about 20 miles from the Cape Town’s city center –“were provided communal toilets by the City of Cape Town on condition they built their own enclosures.” Basically a few communal toilets without walls. Serious.

Several residents told a local newspaper “… they had not been able to afford constructing the walls and roofs and for months they had made use of the toilets in full view of their neighbours.”

Cape Town is governed by the Democratic Alliance, who also controls the provincial government. And this is bad publicity for the DA and its botoxed leader Helen Zille, who is also the province’s premier (the equivalent of a US Governor). Zille has now “apologized” and announced that the province and city council would solve the problem by building one toilet for every five families, instead of one toilet per family.

Which is why if you’re in Cape Town on Saturday go join the activists of the Social Justice Coalition who in an attempt to draw attention to sanitation standards in Cape Town’s townships will form a queue outside a public toilet in [mostly white and middle class] Sea Point from 10am.

Further Reading