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SJC marches to Mayors office

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Dozens of Khayelitsha residents marched to the Cape Town Civic Centre to a deliver a petition on Tuesday, demanding safe, clean and dignified sanitation services. The petition, led by the Social Justice Coalition (SJC), included the signatures of 5000 Khayelitsha residents ahead of Mayor Patricia de Lille’s 2016/17 budget speech in council on Wednesday.The Coalition’s Axolile Notywala says they are calling for the Mayor to commit to implementing long-term sanitation infrastructure in informal settlements across Cape Town.

“Sanitation provision in informal settlements requires a shift from treating informal settlements as temporary, emergency environments, to dealing with the reality that they are long standing, established communities that require permanent infrastructure and long-term planning,” Notywala told VOC News outside the Civic Centre.

The story of murdered Sinoxolo Mafevuka was echoed during the march. Notywala says the situation around sanitation includes a growing safety concern in the informal settlement.

“Our women and children are being murdered and raped when they walk to the toilet. Sinoxolo’s story is one of many in Khayelitsha, I wish you could hear them all. Sinoxolo’s death could have been avoided if she had a clean and safe toilet next to her home,” Notywala added.

The group says the previous budget allocation set aside R15 million for 204 informal settlements adding that this is not enough for the community’s needs. They have urged the mayor to increase expenditure in her next budget draft.

“It is difficult to understand that this long after democracy we still find people demanding basic sanitation and clean water. We are asking the City to treat us like residents of Cape Town and not refugees,” Notywala said.

Furthermore, Notywala adds that if the mayor does not address their concerns, they will be meeting to discuss ways forward in taking the City of Cape Town to court. VOC

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