Open Letter to Mayor Dan Plato: Leadership is urgently needed in Makhaza

Mayor, City of Cape Town
Cc: Ms. Helen Zille
Premier, Western Cape

Dear Mayor,

1. In a statement last week and an associated opinion piece in the Cape Times (27 May 2010) the SJC – a grassroots social movement campaigning non-violently for improved sanitation services in informal settlements – condemned the politicisation of the provision of toilets to residents in Makhaza. We urged all parties to refocus on the fundamental issue, specifically that countless people in Makhaza have been and continue to be deprived of their constitutional rights to health, safety and dignity.

2. We strongly condemned the incitement of violence by ANCYL regional secretary Loyiso Nkohle, but also called on the City to acknowledge that the Makhaza arrangement – regardless of its initial intentions – had serious flaws. It is clear that these toilets did not meet basic norms and standards. Contrary to the assertion in your statement of 31 May 2010, national norms and standards are not met solely when there is “one toilet for every five dwellings”, but also require that they be “safe and hygienic” and “private and protected from the weather”.

Download the open letter to the mayor as a PDF document.

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