The Nelson Mandela Bay infrastructure and engineering directorate is struggling to eradicate the bucket system as residents keep rejecting flushing toilets without houses.
This was revealed during a presentation by water and sanitation director Barry Martin at a human settlements committee meeting yesterday.
“[Communities] say they will stay with the bucket system until they get houses,” Martin said.
He said this view had been expressed strongly during community engagement meetings. “More and more communities are asking what is happening with housing delivery before they agree to a [replacement of the bucket system].”
Residents had accepted the eradication of the bucket system, but only if it was tied in with housing delivery, Martin said.
The mayoral committee member in charge of infrastructure and engineering, Annette Lovemore, said: “We need [the human settlements department] to be totally on board if the bucket eradication work is going to succeed. Infrastructure simply can’t do it on its own.”
Infrastructure and engineering executive director Walter Shaidi said the two directorates would put a team of officials together to work alongside each other.
Duncan Monks, a DA councillor in the human settlements portfolio, said residents’ concerns were warranted as the party had criticised the ANC for building toilets with no houses.
“If we start by building toilets before building houses, we are setting a bad precedent for our communities,” he said.
ANC councillor Andile Mfunda said his party should be applauded for reducing buckets by the thousands while in control of the municipality.