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05 June 2012 at 14:20 - Posted by Anonymous

R17m toilet tender flushed out


A multimillion-rand toilet tender which had gone sour has left Thembelihle residents, near Soweto, with holes in the ground instead of toilets.

Residents allege that the contractors who won the tender to construct VIP toilets in the informal settlement, have disappeared from the area without providing everyone with a toilet.

Many residents are forced to dig holes around their yards where they dispose of their waste. However, those with money and resources, have decided to build their own toilets.

According to a project inspector at Johannesburg Water, Marcia Moraka, the tender, which was awarded to four companies for the construction of the VIP toilets, was worth R17m.

The companies were: Bongi M Construction, Mebila Construction, Farwi Civils and Pazimo Construction.

Work in the area started in 2010, however it was never finished.

Gabriel Motlhaolwa, who has been in the area for more than 10 years, said his yard had started to smell because of the pit latrines he digs regularly.

He said he’d decided his children must live with his parents in the North West because of the lack of basic amenities.

“What makes me angry is that when they want votes, they always come and promise us toilets. Once they are in power, they forget about us,” he said.

Another resident said she was not interested in the VIP toilets. “They stink and are not healthy,” she said.

Unemployed mother Portia Dlamini told The New Age that her toilet was full to the brim and had not been emptied in months.

She said waste removal officials often asked for a R50 bribe before collecting her waste.

Local councillor Janice Ndarana said a new company would resume installing toilets next month.

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