Tree roots were found to be blocking the pipes of the women’s toilet in the northern terminal of Town Centre, and the facility was re-opened on Friday October 26, after the roots were removed and the pipes replaced to prevent another blockage.
The toilets had been closed since June.
During May, the pipes had been cleared twice, during which nappies and pads had been extracted but vacuuming didn’t clear the blockage completely and the toilet facility, with 14 cubicles, which had been operating for 13-years, was then closed.
About two weeks ago a camera was sent down to see what exactly was causing the blockage.
“It was discovered that tree roots had grown and damaged the infrastructure, including the pipes, which caused the blockages,” Eddie Andrews, mayoral committee member for area south, told the Plainsman.
The toilet at the northern terminal, bordered by Third and Seventh avenues, is one of two public toilets, at the transport interchange, which serves hawkers, shoppers, and bus and taxi commuters.
The other toilet is mainly used by transport staff.
Kulsum Baker, vice-chairperson of the United Hawkers’ Forum, said it was pathetic that hawkers and shoppers did not have a place to relieve themselves and that she had complained to various departments, including the City of Cape Town’s health, water and sanitation departments.
“The toilets have been closed in the past but never for this long,” she said.
Solomon Philander, councillor for Ward 79, which includes the Town Centre, Beacon Valley and Eastridge, called on the public to refrain from flushing foreign objects down the toilets.
He promised to set up a baby changing area, including two mattresses and bins for parents to dispose of diapers within the next two weeks.
“We must become more responsible. We must take pride in what we have. We can’t flush a nappy or a pad down the toilet.
“We cause the blockages and expect someone else to clean after us,” he said.