Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane says progress is being made in getting rid of bucket toilets in formal settlements around the country.
Briefing the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation in Cape Town on Wednesday, Minister Mokonyane said about 78.8% of the bucket system has been eradicated in formal settlements, with seven provinces having performed at an average of 90% eradication
KwaZulu-Natal, North West, Mpumalanga and Gauteng are the provinces that have achieved a total eradication in formal settlements, while the Western Cape has reached 99.8% clearance
Minister Mokonyane said the Free State and Northern Cape have achieved less than 80%, where only 68% and 26% of buckets have been eradicated respectively.
She said some of the challenges experienced by the department, which led to the inability to achieve set targets in the Free State and Northern Cape, ranged from community labour based disputes to contractors encountering ‘hard rock’ conditions in the Northern Cape.
“Interventions are in place to address the challenges experienced. These include the deployment of specialized equipment to deal with the hard rock conditions and the introduction of standardized project rates on various aspects of the project at the inception of the programme,” said Minister Mokonyane.
It is noteworthy that there has been a drop in the use of bucket toilets nation-wide. Nationally 84,065 consumer units were serviced with bucket toilets in 2014, falling from 100,618 in 2013, and from 231,660 in 2004. The 16% drop in 2014 was driven mostly by municipalities in Eastern Cape who reduced the provincial total by 15, 353 consumer units, from 50, 266 in 2013 to 34,913 in 2014.
South Africa is indeed on its way to becoming free off the menace of bucket toilets.