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No sanitation during covid-19. The toilets in our RDP house collapsed ten years ago.

The Rantoetse family had to dig this pit latrine after their original toilet collapsed. But the toilet has a bad smell their home is now infested with flies.

Tshepiso Rantoetse has lost count of how many toilet holes have been dug and closed on their home yard. This is because the pit latrine toilet which the municipality had originally build for their home collapsed ten years ago.

One day the toilet got flooded and collapsed.

“We were lucky that no one  was inside otherwise the worst could have happened,” Rantoetse says.

She says despite reporting the matter to the local office they never got a new toilet built. Left with no choice the family had to make do with digging own pit latrines. However, because there was no proper sewer system it did not take long before the pits filled  up. The next option would be to close and dig another pit for the family to have a place to relieve themselves.

The family lives in a smart four roomed RDP house but a small zinc toilet structure in their back yard leaves a lot to be desired. Next to the toilet pit is a bucket which they use to pour water inside the toilet if need be as cleaning the toilet is not an easy task. Family members say municipal workers who come to suck up waste from other household latrines refuse to help accusing them of demolishing the original municipal toilet which was built together with their RDP house. When they can raise money, they hire private contractors to come and clear their toilet. But the stink is often unbearable, and their home is now infested with flies.

“We do not know how many times we have visited the local office to try and make them understand that our toilet collapsed. They only made void promises that they would come and build us a new toilet,” says Rantoetse.

Months turned into years. The Rantoetse household is now trying to raise money to build its own toilet. Raising money is proving to be difficult as the family has other needs.

“We feel that the government is failing us. for years we have waited but to date we still have no flashing toilets, “says Rantoetse.

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