Athol Trollip fails on key promise

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has extended its deadline to eradicate the bucket system in the city by six months – leaving mayor Athol Trollip failing to deliver on one of his biggest political promises. This comes as the municipality has also scrapped the provision of chemical toilets – a temporary replacement for the bucket system – as it is too costly.

The decision to shift the deadline was made at an infrastructure, engineering and energy committee meeting.

Councillors at the meeting noted the report on the bucket eradication programme, which included recommendations that:

  • The timeframe for the eradication of buckets and installation of alternative sanitation facilities be extended to the end of June;
  • Infrastructure and engineering portfolio head Annette Lovemore, human settlements political head Nqaba Bhanga and Trollip engage with communities; and
  • The option of providing chemical toilets by the end of next month where bucket toilets are still being used, be scrapped.

However, just six weeks ago, the municipality had recommitted itself to fulfilling Trollip’s promise.

“An election promise cannot be left at the ballot box,” Lovemore said in the statement issued on October 13.

“It is a commitment made out of caring and determination to govern well and deliver services for all. We are very serious about seeing it through.”

On the failed deadline, Trollip said there had been delays as some ward councillors and communities wanted electricity, housing, water and “other things” before the eradication of the bucket system.

“I’d rather miss my deadline and do the job properly,” he said.

“We appeal for the community’s and ward councillors’ cooperation to bring dignified sanitation solutions to those communities using buckets.”

Read the full story, first published in The Herald, here.

Promise outcome: While progress has been made on the eradication of bucket toilets, eradication is either achieved or it isn’t – that’s why we rate this promise as being broken.