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SAHRC satisfied with progress made in enclosing toilets in Rammulotsi
10 April 2013

The South African Human Rights Commission (Commission) is satisfied that the dignity of people of Rammulotsi, Viljoenskroon in the Free State is restored. The assertion follows inspection that was conducted on 09 April 2013, in Rammulotsi together with the Moqhaka Local Municipality and the Department of Human Settlements to assess progress made in the enclosure of open toilets.

The inspection forms part of Commission’s findings and recommendations that the Municipality violated the right to dignity of people of Rammulotsi by building them unenclosed toilets. Furthermore, the Commission recommended that the Municipality must furnish it with progress report after every six months detailing measures taken to enclose open toilets.

The finding follows complaint lodged with the Commission in 2010 that the Municipality violated people’s rights by building unenclosed toilets in Rammulotsi. Subsequently the Commission investigated the complaint in line with its mandate to monitor and assess the observance and realisation of the rights enshrined in the Constitution.

The Commission commends the Municipality and the Department of Human Settlements' role in making sure that the residence of Rammulotsi can use sanitation in a dignified manner. However, there are few shortcomings that it raised concern on:

  • Unscrupulous building contractors who instigated indigent households to demolish existing toilet enclosures;
  • Members of political formations complicit in demolishing of toilet enclosures; and
  • Lack of general awareness (dissemination of information) regarding enclosed toilets.

The Municipality and the Department of Human Settlements have made a commitment to address some of the shortcomings noted during the inspection including those sites that were visited by the Commission before end of April 2013.

The Commission further confirmed that the initial 1831 toilets that formed part of our investigation were enclosed. The Department of Human Settlements also enclosed an additional 253 toilets, some of which were demolished by residents.

The Commission awaits a final report from both organs of state on or before 10th May 2013. The Commission is content with the progress made by in enclosing toilets and further supports the proposal made by the Municipality to enact a municipal by-law to halt or curb any further demolishing of existing toilet structures as the process of enclosing all toilets will end in April 2013.


Issued by:
Isaac Mangena
Head: Communications
SA Human Rights Commission

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