Mshengu Social Audit (April 2013)

On 27 April 2013, people across South Africa commemorate Freedom Day –a public holiday marking our country’s transition to democracy in 1994. Exactly nineteen years later, 150 people gathered in Khayelitsha to assert their fundamental and hard-fought right to hold our leaders accountable in advancing the basic rights of all people, but particularly those in historically disenfranchised communities.The subject of the day:communal toilets servicing thousands of households in informal settlements across the City of Cape Town.

Almost two decades after our first democratic election, millions of South Africans continue to wait for what is arguably the most basic service. It is estimated that over sixteen million people in South Africa do not have access to basic sanitation facilities. In the City of Cape Town there are at least 500 000 people living without access to basic sanitation facilities. Poor sanitation provision has significant adverse consequences on public health, safety and dignity. Improving access to this essential service is a critical step in improving quality of life in our communities.