• September 27th, 2020
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Editorial - Replace the colonial-era toilet system

Politics is about serving one’s constituency and not about politicians making empty promises. The bucket toilet system has been with the residents of the south for more than 30 years and it seems it has become fashionable for politicians to make empty promises to replace that unhygienic system. 

Residents of the south who like other Namibians deserve better. Recently we saw councillors once again parading at a ceremony promising to phase out this colonial-era sanitary system that dehumanised the residents of some of the urban and peri-urban areas of the south. Several years ago, the Namibian electorate were informed this antiquated system of disposing human waste will be a thing of the past, come 2017. 
That year came and we are in 2020. Yet it remains to be seen whether this promise will again be deferred. We hope this is not yet another political gimmick to solicit votes for the 2020 regional council and local authority elections. It is high time voters woke up to the reality of being used as political fodder. They need to ask harder questions to those aspiring for public office to serve the electorate. 

It is high time voters used their votes to rid public offices of deadwood that is unable to deliver the most basic of services. As we speak, residents of Fransfontein typify residents of the south deprived of their human dignity because they still use bucket systems in this era. 
The situation at Aussenkehr, a grape settlement that is home to between 7 000 residents to 30 000, the situation is even much worse. Residents of this settlement with a billion-dollar grape industry that boosts colonial-style mansions - a reflection of affluence stands out - in stark contrast to ramshackle, reed huts bereft of any sanitation and grape farmers use the river to relieve themselves. 

Aussenkehr residents despite generating millions, producing export-quality fruit are also employed for a pittance. They do not have proper employment benefits and they are compelled to use both the nearby Orange River as a source of their drinking water and in equal measure, they draw water from the same river for domestic use. 

Promises were made and those who made these promises have not been taken to task. Come, the 2020 regional council and local authority elections, the same individuals will contest as councillors. It is time the electorate got rid of this politics that begets poverty where some politicians only want to drive fancy cars, insist on travelling first class, live in nice apartments but do not want to work hard so that they could keep promises made on the campaign trail to Namibian voters and serve the electorate. 

Politics is synonymous with serving the people and not only insisting on being called honourable. It is high time those aspiring for public office went beyond mere rhetoric. As long as there is the bucket system among residents of the south and the residents of Aussenkehr relieving themselves in the Orange River from where they draw their drinking water, collectively as a nation we cannot wallow in the joy of freedom that we enjoy. Promises - never fulfilled - to replace the colonial-era bucket system are a political scandal.

Staff Reporter
2020-06-26 09:53:00 3 months ago

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