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Grievances about Mobile Toilets in Informal Settlements Discussed

Oudtshoorn, 06 October 2021 – The Oudtshoorn Municipality, Bidvest and the Informal Settlements Forum (ISF) held a meeting on 01 October 2021. The meeting focused on resolving the grievances which the residents of the informal settlement had regarding the toilets they received from Bidvest.

The executive mayor of the Greater Oudtshoorn, Councillor Vlancio Donson spear-headed the triangular discussion that took place in his office between the Municipality, the supplier- Bidvest and the representatives for informal settlements. 

Mayor Donson gave the representatives a platform to voice out their concerns regarding the issues at hand that resulted in preventing a smooth transition of rendering the mobile toilets service from the previous supplier to the new one. This was to allow the three parties to reach a middle ground to disentangle the problems.

According to the representatives of the ISF, communication between the Municipality and residents of informal settlements on the matter was inadequate. They also alleged that the toilets Bidvest supplied to the informal settlements were of poor quality and therefore requesting better toilets. Lastly, the representatives also mentioned being unimpressed with how the appointment process of the new supplier for the toilets was handled.

As a resolution to the debacle, Bidvest noted the issues by stating that they will refer the matter to their superiors. They also said that the company, in an attempt to serve the residents according to their wishes, would utilise a supplier in Knysna to gradually replace the toilets which were not meeting the wishes of the residents. Meanwhile, the community will make use of the toilets currently available at the Bidvest Depo.

In addition to the mobile toilet services, Bidvest has undertaken to contribute towards a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) providing Bidvest’s Scholarships, learnerships, back-to-school shoe programmes and other social development initiatives. The three role-players agreed that Bidvest will furthermore discuss with ISF what other CSR programmes are needed in their communities.