Health concerns at Lentegeur public toilet

Vice chairperson of Merrydale Community Forum, Harold de Lily, in the mens toilet.

Lentegeur traders and shoppers were up in arms because they could not wash their hands at the public transport interchange toilet facility for more than a week.

The restrooms had been renovated but the water spouts were missing at the basins in the men’s and women’s sections.

Instead, everyone had to queue at the disabled toilet to use the one working tap there.

Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport and urban development, said this was due to a technical glitch and has been rectified.

“The City of Cape Town apologises for any inconvenience caused over the five days while the matter was being attended to,” he said.

The taps were replaced on Thursday August 31. This was after the Plainsman sent a media enquiry about the missing spouts.

Chairperson of the Merrydale Community Forum, Cornelia Martheza, said it was unhygienic that people could not wash their hands.

“It is just disgusting! Hundreds of people use the toilet, and have to walk out of the toilets with unclean hands. At one point there wasn’t even toilet paper in the toilets and then after telling the City, they put some out for the community.

“I also informed them about the taps, but they did not assist with urgency (at the time),” she said.

Ms Martheza also added that there aren’t enough toilets for the women and men.

Currently, there are three toilets for women and one toilet and two urinals for the men.

Harold de Lily, the vice chairperson of Merrydale Community Forum, agreed with Ms Martheza and is requesting more toilets. “On a weekend it is really busy, so people have to queue until outside the toilet. We are asking that this be considered,” he said.

Mr Herron said according to the City’s Environmental Health Department, the ablution facilities were compliant.”It is important to note that these ablution facilities were designed based on the needs that existed at that time.

“However, with the new developments, more people are being attracted to the space. The City is therefore monitoring the situation and, if so required, changes to the facility will be considered in the future,” he said.

Trader Ebrahim Karriem said he is concerned about people doing drugs inside the toilets. “These people have been caught inside the toilets, and sadly the security is being threatened by the substance abusers. So we are asking, what can the City do about the issue of safety in these toilets. How are they going to control it?”

Mr Herron said the concerns regarding the drug usage and abuse have been reported to the relevant enforcement authorities.