Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale has today unveiled a task team to be headed by Ms Winnie Madikizela-Mandela to advise on the issue of unclosed and or incomplete toilets in the country.
Media exposé of this inhumane practice in Makhaza, Moqhaka and Moutse before and during the local government elections this year made it clear to the Department that the magnitude of the problem might be unknown, since the sanitation function has recently been transferred to the Department of Human Settlement from Water Affairs.
Minister Sexwale says the Department is honored that Ms Winnie Madikizela Mandela, at this time in her life has accepted to provide a helping hand for a constituency which has always been close to her heart – the poorest of the poor.
He added: “These incomplete or unclosed toilets strip our people of their dignity and they are unhealthy. The Team is tasked with identifying and locating such structures in-order to have them fixed. This sordid chapter must be brought to an end.”
The Task Team has three months to wrap up its work and will establish:
· the scale of the problem
· its nature
· its geographic spread, i.e. urban or rural
· identify irregularities and malpractices
The Task Team will report back in January 2012 with recommendations relating to policy gaps, legislative short comings, budgetary issues or any other matters.
Mrs Madikizela-Mandela says: “Together with all Task Team members we are humbled to be requested by our own children within Human Settlements to give off our limited time towards our poor communities. For me there is nothing new since this has been my life for as long as I can remember.”
Other members of the task team include
· Dr Fazel Randera, former Inspector-General of Intelligence
· Tom Manthata, former Commissioner with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
· Patrick Magebhula, a member of the Minister’s panel of advisors
· The Director-General will provide the necessary resources and technical support to the National Task Team to enable it to carry-out its strategic operations efficiently and effectively.
We have requested Ministers to second officials from the following Departments:
· Water and Environmental Affairs
· Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs