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Bond, Patrick Translation ka-Manzi, Faith  (2012) The commodification of crap and South Africa’s toilet apartheid (Izinkinga zezamanzi aseThekwini: isidididi ngesimo semvelo, Ukwehliswa kwmaFlegi Asibhakabhaka, ezasendlini zokuya ngaphandle zongxiwankulu, Ukufa kofisho kanye nokugcwala kwendle olwandle)
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DURBAN - This week’s World Toilet Summit offers an opportunity to contemplate how we curate our crap. Increasingly the calculus seems to be cash, generating contradictions ranging from local to global scales, across race, gender, generation and geography. Nowhere are they more evident than in the host city, my hometown of Durban. We’ve suffered an 18-year era of neoliberal-nationalist malgovernance including toilet apartheid , in the wake of more than 150 years of colonialism and straight racial-apartheid.

In central Durban, the mafia of the global water and sanitation sector – its corporate, NGO and state-bureaucratic elite – have gathered at the International Convention Centre, just a few blocks west of the Indian Ocean, into which far too much of our excrement already flows. They’re at the same scene of the crime as, exactly a year ago, negotiators dithered at the United Nations COP17 ‘Conference of Polluters’ summit.

Recall that the COP17 rebuffed anyone who fancifully hoped global elites might address the planet’s main 21st century crisis. The 1%-ers inside ignored outsider demands for climate justice: make airtight commitments to 50 percent emissions cuts by 2020; drop the ‘privatisation of the air’ strategy known as carbon trading and offsets; and cough up ‘climate debt’ payments from rich to poor countries.

Instead, that conference ended with a ‘Durban Platform’ that re-emphasized capitalist strategies, pleasing Washington especially. The COP17 deal eroded differences in responsibility between North and South, and moreover, as lead Bank of America Merrill Lynch carbon dealer Abyd Karmali told the , the Durban Platform was like a Viagra shot for the flailing carbon markets.” True, a tiny carbon price erection followed, but the effect soon wore off; the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme has been flaccid throughout 2012.

What the dog’s-breakfast Durban Platform confirms, then, was global-elite back-slapping generosity to each other, simultaneous with rank incompetence and utter disregard for the poor and environment, all of which are again on display this week at the COP18 in Doha, Qatar. Precedents matter, for lowering standards.

The commodification of crap
The World Toilet Organisation’s battle cry, ‘Scaling up – dignity for all!’, appears as a creative talk-left but turn-the-tap-right (i.e. off) strategy. The water mafia has long struggled to gain legitimacy for neoliberal cost-cutting strategies, and now does so by invoking dignity (and they also have tried colonising the ‘water rights’ discourse) – but naturally not genuine equal access and consumer affordability, neither of which are possible under neoliberalism.

Another version of this is micro-scale privatisation, where NGOs and community organisations are encouraged to build local toilets and charge poor people for their use, to cover construction, cleaning, maintenance, the water bill and a tiny salary.

Last month in Nairobi’s Kibera and Huruma slums, I spent a day dodging the ‘flying toilets’ (plastic bags filled with faeces), thankfully guided in walkabouts by two admirable popular organisations whose young men – often drawn from ex-gang members – construct these toilets after fighting the small-scale local water capitalists who physically sabotage state suppliers. These systems of desperation-commodification, priced at US$0.10 per use (including one piece of loo paper), are vast improvements on the flying-toilet.

This travesty is the result of a more general neoliberal dogma that hit slums like Nairobi’s over the past quarter-century: cut-backs in state-subsidised water. The strong residue – both in World Bank techie talk and in populist-neoliberal micro-privatisation mode – is just as evident at the Durban Toilet Summit as it was at the World Water Forum in Marseilles nine months ago. That event reconfirmed the water-empire expansion of Paris mega-privatisers like Veolia and Suez, along with the likes of liquid-barons Coke and Nestle, all backed by the multilateral development banks.

Although for a dozen years, fierce anti-privatisation struggles have been waged in Cochabamba, Johannesburg, Accra, Argentina, Atlanta, Jakarta, Manila and many other urban water battlegrounds, it seems that recent US and European municipal fiscal crises offer a new opportunity for the water profiteers.

At the Durban summit, even more clever neoliberal stunts are being rehearsed. ‘Community-Led Total Sanitation’ (CLTS) popularized by NGOer Kamal Kar and academic Robert Chambers in Bangladesh passes yet more responsibilities for public hygiene downwards to poor people. The goal is to wean the lumpens off reliance upon state subsidies through social shaming.

Explains Petra Bongartz from Sussex University, “Through the tools employed by CLTS, a community comes to self-realization that their acts of open defecation are disgusting. In disgust, I have seen some people spit, others turn away from the direction of shit. Still others have vomited at the sight of shit. Disgust is one of the key elements of a CLTS trigger. Disgust is ignited by the unpleasant sight of shit, more so when the shit is still in its fresh and wet state.”

State funds to supply sanitation services are invariably in short supply, so such gimmicks allow smirking Finance Ministry technocrats in many countries to both decentralize the state and shrink it, and in the process, shift duties to municipalities and vulnerable people, in a process sometimes called ‘unfunded mandates’.

Durban’s dirty water
In this context, Durban residents like myself are having a hard time separating good from bad arguments when it comes to water quality and sanitation. First is the rumour, fed by media hysteria, that drinking Durban’s increasingly grey water is bad for us. As the city begins to mix recycled city sewage with river supply from the mercury-contaminated Inanda Dam (where signs warn local Zulu fisherfolk against eating their catch) and other E.coli-infected streams, will we end up as ill and thirsty as several unfortunate neighbouring Mpumalanga Province towns’ citizens?

In many little ‘dorpies’ stretching from Johannesburg east through Mpumalanga to the Mozambique border at Kruger Park, Acid Mine Drainage and related toxic effluent from coal mining corporations flow prolifically. The national environment ministry turns a blind eye. Between worsening climate change, declining air quality and widespread water pollution, it is terrible but true – as even the African National Congress (ANC) government admits in obscure reports – that apartheid’s ecology was better than freedom’s.

To illustrate, at the very tip of government’s free-market, fast-melting iceberg, Cyril Ramaphosa’s coal company was let off the prosecutorial hook last month for operating without a water license. Ramaphosa’s political clout was simply overwhelming, according to a leading Pretoria bureaucrat cited by The Mail&Guardian. Indeed it’s likely Ramaphosa will become the country’s second leader at an ANC conference in a fortnight’s time, notwithstanding his smoking-email role in the Marikana massacre, carried out by police 14 weeks ago at the behest of the multinational corporation, Lonmin, for which Ramaphosa serves as local frontman.

As for Durban’s tap-water quality, no, I don’t think there’s any worry, and still have no qualms about ordering my restaurant water straight from the tap. Much worse is the rise of plastic bottles – see for gory details – which clog landfills and whose petroleum inputs soil the air in South Durban, Africa’s largest refinery site.

There, children in the mainly Indian suburb of Merebank suffer the world’s worst recorded asthma rate. The Malaysian-owned Engen refinery and BP/Shell’s Sapref complex act like a massive pollution pincer on the kids’ young lungs. Last week, even the slobs at the US Environmental Protection Agency deemed BP – ‘Beyond Petroleum’ (hah) – such a filthy rogue that it may no longer bid for new oil leases there.

Durban’s dirty water policy
Other gossip making the rounds here concerns the world-famous water manager who runs Durban’s municipal system, Neil Macleod. Billionaire philanthropist and Microsoft founder Bill Gates blogged two years ago that Macleod “has been a leader in thinking through how to improve sanitation for the poor in Durban.” But last month Macleod was charged with corruption by his subordinates (whom he was investigating for the same crime).

This came just at the moment that former Durban city manager Mike Sutcliffe apparently intimidated his successor S’bu Sithole into out-of-court-settlement talks over corruption libel which may leave taxpayers shelling out as much as a million dollars to featherbed Sutcliffe’s supposedly injured ‘reputation’. Although the Manase Report into city corruption – from which Sithole made his claims that Sutcliffe should be jailed – remains a state secret, in both the Macleod and Sutcliffe cases, I’m convinced that they are being unfairly maligned.

How, then, might we more fairly malign these men, not personally of course, but for the society-corrupting, health-threatening, ecologically-destructive sanitation policies on their watch?

The most obvious evidence is the city’s repeated embarrassment at reports of high E.coli and toxin levels in the rivers feeding the ocean, especially after rains, leading to the loss of international ‘Blue Flag’ status at ten Durban beaches four years ago. This month is vital for attracting Johannesburg tourists, so the excessive recent storms make it doubly hard for our hospitality industry, given last week’s reports about unsafe beaches.

So why do long stretches of Durban’s beaches become unswimmable after rains? The primary cause is Macleod’s persistent failure to address the vast sanitation backlog in more than 100 shack settlements across the city. Here, Sutcliffe long refused to authorize standard municipal services – such as water mains and bulk sewage – because of their informal property-rights status, especially those near the traditionally white and Indian areas subject to forced-displacement pressure.

Most shack settlements, in which around a third of Durban’s 3.5 million people live, have only a few poorly- (or un-) maintained toilets, notwithstanding heroic efforts by their main social movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo – most notably at the Kennedy Road shack settlement of 4000 residents and 8 toilets (until ruling party thuggery forced them out) – to raise the profile of the problem.

As a result of loose excrement, E.coli flows into our streams at a rate far higher than the recommended ‘safe’ level of 100 parts per 100ml. The 2010 found the E.coli count in the “uMngeni River at Kennedy Road up to 1,080,000. Cause: Informal Community on the banks of the Palmiet River.”

Power politics and toilet apartheid
Five years ago, Macleod predicted to Science magazine that by 2010, “everyone [would have] access to a proper toilet,” while in reality,hundreds of thousands do not, today.

Neoliberal sanitation experts visiting Durban for the Toilet Summit may rebut that the world cannot afford 12-liter flushes for everyone, and that we must embrace some version of low-water toilets here. (I agree that low-flush bio-gas digesters could be a fine compromise, supplying cooking gas to nearby houses.)
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Yet community critics regularly tell us that Durban’s water-less ‘Ventilated Improved Pitlatrine’ (VIP) and ‘Urinary Diversion’ (‘UD’ – or ‘UnDignified’) strategies are failing. If the municipality possessed a genuinely green consciousness, then middle- and upper-class areas would have such pilot projects – not just tens of thousands provided in the city’s low-income periphery. calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-themecolor: text1>

I flush a few times each day and pay a small premium: more than Durban’s poor can afford, but still not enough for the sake of equity. Many South African readers of this column could easily cross-subsidise their low-income fellow residents, by paying more for the privileges of filling swimming pools and bathtubs, watering gardens, running washing machines and all the other liquid luxuries we enjoy. This is, after all, the world’s most unequal major country, and it’s far worse now than even during apartheid.

If those of us above the 80th percentile paid more to deter our hedonistic water consumption, and if Macleod adjusted tariffs downwards accordingly for poor people, then Durban would not be South Africa’s second stingiest city for water, according to the University of the Witwatersrand Centre for Applied Legal Studies. (The worst is nearby Pietermaritzburg – both reflective of durable old-style Natal white settler-colonial mentality and latter-day Zulu managerial conservatism.)

If such logical reforms were made to water and sanitation prices, then better health and gender equity would result, and more funds could be raised for installing decent toilets across the city, as well as to repair sewage pipes whose cracks regularly infect our rivers and harbour.

After enormous herds of White Elephant infrastructure – underutilized stadiums, a fast train linking Pretoria and Joburg, and Durban’s new airport – were built across SA for the 2010 World Cup, no one in power can claim that construction capability or subsidized funding are lacking. What’s missing is a more favourable politics of and by the poor, and so what will continue to result is toilet-apartheid.

Patrick Bond directs the University of KwaZulu-Natal Centre for Civil Society.

The Neoliberal Loo
Baruti Amisi, Patrick Bond, Dudu Khumalo and Simphiwe Nojiyeza (February 2008)

Sanitation occasionally needs our attention. Usually it’s when there’s a water shortage. Today it’s because toilet (“loo”) technicians are having a major summit here in Durban, South Africa. Ironically, those who specialise in water-borne sanitation don’t want some of us to use their product, a conclusion we’ll explain below.

The sensible old adage - “If it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down” - was initiated (we understand) in a blunt New York City water-saving campaign during an early 1970s drought. Conservation is all well and good during explicit water shortages. But that’s not generally the case here in even mostly-arid South Africa, given that human consumption of raw water amounts to less than 12 percent of the total, of which more than half is used to refill swimming pools, in non-indigenous gardens, and to otherwise sate rich/middle-income hedonistic desires. Poor black people get less than 5 percent of the raw water.

The same superficially “commonsense” yet profoundly unfair philosophy - i.e., poor folk must be given only water-free pit latrines - permeates the African Sanitation (Africasan) conference now underway at the Luthuli International Conference Centre, led by “prince of sanitation” (as he calls himself and colleagues) Piers Cross, long-term World Banker.

The Bank is brutally explicit about sanitation financing in last month’s “International Year of Sanitation” newsletter propaganda: “Africa’s sanitation should and must be developed and funded by Africa.” No Northern subsidies allowed, because “Both governments and households respond to financial incentives and client-focused mechanisms for cost recovery and contribution.” (The Dutch government sponsors this particularly nasty neoliberal ideology with generous subsidies.)

Several hundred experts have come to Durban to talk toilet cost-recovery this week. With one exception, our own attempts to enter the ICC along with civil society colleagues were deterred by the $250 entrance fee; there were only a few passes given to community groups.

If allowed in, a civil society swarm would raise the essential problem across the continent: underfunding. Toilets and bulk wastewater pipes dug down out of sight and mind aren’t sexy for donors - like the noxious British Department for International Development - to show off to politicians and constituents.

Moreover, for the last quarter century, the pressures of World Bank structural adjustment programs broke African governments’ ability to meet the citizenry’s needs, even basic water/sanitation infrastructure.

Most African states are run by venal elites who don’t care where their poorest residents defecate; witness Durban’s provision of a handful of public loos to thousands in each of the city’s burgeoning shack settlements.

So in spite of the threat to public health in the AIDS era, a dangerous conventional wisdom emerged: poor and working people should learn to consume far less water. Self-help for “total sanitation” (including hygiene education against “open defecation”) replaces state responsibility. The market rules: if you can’t pay, you can’t pee or poo in comfort. The excellent off-Broadway play “Urinetown” captures this in fiction; reality is yet more surreal.

With populist twists, UN Water Task Force on Sanitation coordinator Clarissa Brocklehurst explains: “Simple subsidisation is not enough to lure the poor to build toilets. We need to create supporting policies, develop low cost options, mobilise communities and even involve the private sector.”

Speaking to InterPress Service last November at a similar conference in India, Jon Lane of the Geneva-based Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council gives up the game: “The need is to take sanitation technology from being subsidy-driven, which it so far is, and make it market-driven.”

This then is the neoliberal sanitation strategy. In reality, the problem is not the subsidy per se, but its inadequate size. Typically, only a tiny capital grant (around $100) is provided to build an “improved” pit latrine.

Crucial operating and maintenance subsidies are practically never supplied. When pits need emptying they’re not (because there’s no funding for it). When nearby communal water taps break for lack of diesel fuel for borehole pumps or cracked piping, they stay broken.

South Africa was, unfortunately, not immune from the pressure of neoliberalism, well before the country adopted its homegrown structural adjustment policy in 1996. From the early 1990s, influential institutions - the Development Bank of Southern Africa, Mvula Trust and the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) - adopted the World Bank strategy, which hinges on persuading poor people not to use water for flushing.

When persuasion doesn’t work, officials simply impose dry toilets like Ventilated Improved Pitlatrines (“VIPs”) on very impoverished people, who are invariably black.

The worst of this philosophy was the apartheid regime’s filthy “bucket system” - people poo into a pail which is collected early each morning - for South Africa’s “temporary sojourners”: i.e. all black people living in cities. Water was a weapon in the white government’s arsenal of oppression and control.

But what goes around sometimes comes around. Mike Muller, former DWAF director general, points out that “the buckets, especially when not emptied by inefficient municipalities, provide community activists with an effective and ready-made weapon of protest, which has been used with substantial effect in protests about poor service delivery.”

Today, nearly 14 years after apartheid ended, hundreds of thousands of people still suffer buckets, in spite of Mbeki’s promise that by 2007 we’d be rid of the 19th century system.

Shockingly, there are still 9270 bucket latrines in Durban, along with 148,688 unventilated pit latrines and 41,880 chemical toilets. Lack of adequate sewage disposal, combined with heavy rains, hot temperatures and accidental spilling of these buckets, together create a perfect storm of infectious diarrhea, other gastrointestinal disorders, and worm infestations - fatal threats to so many HIV people.

Worse, alleged sanitation “improvements” since 1994 include mass installation of VIPs. As veteran sanitation practitioner Kathy Eales notes, “Many VIPs are now full and unusable. In many areas, VIPs are now called ‘full-ups’. Some pits were too small, or were fully sealed.”

According to Eales, “South Africa’s household sanitation policy is grossly inadequate. It speaks primarily to dry systems, and does not clarify roles and responsibilities around what to do when pits are full. National government under-estimated the scale of technical support required.”

Given the state’s white elephant priorities - an industrial development zone for another smelter (“Coega”), the elite Gautrain for rich people, nuclear reactors, once-off sports stadia for the 2010 soccer World Cup, and megadams that drain water from poor areas - who believes the ruling African National Congress will rid the society of the dreaded buckets and pit latrines?

And with the rate of community protest doubling to 30 per day on average from 2005-07, according to the SA Police Service, who believes we’ll have peace - without sanitation justice?

Two innovations discussed enthusiastically at Afrisan may make matters worse. Sowetans are protesting “condominal shallow sewage” systems introduced by the French water privatiser Suez, which ran Joburg Water from 2001 until they were expelled in 2006. Victims of this experiment have no water cisterns above the loo, much thinner pipes, and lower gravity to get excrement down and out to the mains.

Hence they clog not by accident but by design. Then, according to 12-step instructions provided by Suez, women are meant to stick their hands (with gloves, to be sure) into the pipes to remove the shit by hand.

Second, in Durban, a post-apartheid bucket system - the Urinary Diversion (UD) toilet - is being foisted involuntarily on 60 000 households. With their double-pits, separating urine and feces so as to speed decomposistion, the UDs are theoretically useful in water-scarce rural areas. But Durban? (Especially with our humidity, which means excrement stays damp and pathogen-ridden.)

Earlier this month, a naïve reporter at Science magazine lavishly praised Durban municipal water manager Neil Macleod’s promise that within two years, “everyone will have access to a proper toilet.”

But that includes the replacement of apartheid-era pit toilets with “the best solution”, UDs, which are credited with “a 30% reduction in diarrheal diseases compared with similar households using pit toilets”, as our university colleague Stephen Knight told Science. (Of course the comparison should instead be to decent indoor waterborne sanitation, but when serving poor black people, chef Macleod seems to have removed that item from the menu.)

Yet experience in the communities we know best (peri-urban Inanda) is unsatisfactory. UDs have internal buckets that require emptying. No training was given on how to deal with feces, except to dump it in the garden “for fertilizing your veggies”. Many people are repelled by use of human excrement (compared to cow-dung) as fertilizer, because of the many diseases surrounding them. The burden of cleaning is left to women. Creative opportunities for bio-gas are also foreclosed by UDs. Many have become mere storerooms or are permanently locked because of the smell. Councilors are useless when the UDs cease functioning.

Indeed, municipal neglect of sewage is apparently widespread. The city’s crucial Umbilo River is badly polluted because Macleod didn’t manage industrial wastewater pipes properly, as a Durban Mercury newspaper scoop last month showed.

For example, thousands of dead fish in the harbor (Africa’s largest) last Christmas were victims of a sewage pipe rupture caused by polymer blockages in the mains. City manager Mike Sutcliffe withheld a scientific study about the massacre for weeks, perhaps because it confirms the corporate culture of rampant eco-vandalism in South Durban, which he has nurtured thanks to repeated attacks on environmentalists there. Belatedly, the city will sue a plastics company for damages, but the two key state officials have been extremely evasive.

Sutcliffe and Macleod are not the only ones to blame. Faizal Bux of Durban University of Technology’s Centre for Water and Wastewater Technology remarks, “The city council needs to be held accountable for the current status of the Umbilo River” because of consistent underfunding of maintenance.

To solve the sanitation crisis doesn’t require rocket science. No one at the ICC can disagree with these aspirations:
* we need appropriate health and hygiene awareness and behaviour (especially for policy-makers and municipal officials prone to disconnect poor people from water supplies, hence threatening all of us, as South Africa’s 2000 cholera pandemic tragically proved);
* we need systems for disposing of human excreta, household waste water and refuse, acceptable and affordable to the users, safe, hygienic and easily accessible and which does not have an unacceptable impact on the environment; and
* we need a toilet facility for each household.

But as Mike Muller confessed in a 2007 article for the journal Progress in Development Studies, “the expansion of sanitation services to the unserved is slowing.” He specifically blamed SA finance minister Trevor Manuel’s 2006 Division of Revenue Act because of its “clear incentives for municipalities not to extend services to the unserved.”

To change this we need new genuinely pro-poor policies, and more state funding and policies that get poor people appropriate supplies of waterborne sanitation, including for micro biodigesters (a sophisticated septic tank) that convert excrement into cooking gas in off-grid rural areas. And in turn we need much more political pressure, not more neoliberalism from AfricaSan, the World Bank, the UN, British DFID, multinational corporate NGOs like Water Aid and Plan, SA government or Durban officials who want poor people to cut their water consumption.

If we don’t get it, government’s policy reversion to low-quality, unmaintained VIP latrines, chemical toilets, UDs and condominial sewers means that apartheid’s sanitation indignities will reconstitute huge social divisions - but not along ethnic lines alone, also according to the placement of sewage lines.

And not only will sanitation suffering continue. One day, a government with decent values will have to put in proper systems at much greater cost because it will mean undoing the damage being done today by those men tucked away behind the $250 entrance gates to AfricaSan.

Izinkinga zezamanzi aseThekwini: isidididi ngesimo semvelo, Ukwehliswa kwmaFlegi Asibhakabhaka, ezasendlini zokuya ngaphandle zongxiwankulu, Ukufa kofisho kanye nokugcwala kwendle olwandle
NguPatrick Bond, Yahunshwa nguFaith ka-Manzi

Ukudayiswa kwendle kanye nezindlu zokuya ngaphandle zobandlululo
EThekwini – Kulelisonto Ingqingqithela Yomhlaba Ngezindlu Zangaphandle isinike ithuba lokucabanga ukuthi sizihlela kanjani ezethu zasendle. Kodwa okubonakala kukukhulu kakhului imali, okudala ukuphikisana okuqhamuka lapha kwelakithi kuze kufike umhlaba wonke, kuzozonke izinhlanga, izilili, izizukulwane kanye nebalazwe. Akukho ndawo lapho kunobufakazi khona ukudlula khona kakhulu idolobha lapho bekwenza khona lengqungquthela, lapho ngihlala khona eThekwini. Sesihlupheke iminyaka eyishumi nesishagalombili ngokuphathwa nhlaka nhlaka kombuso wengxiwankulu okumbandakanya ubandlulu ngezindlu zendle, ikakhulukazi uma sesibheka ukuthi abamhlophe bafika eminyanyeki eyikhulu namashumi adlule ukuzobusa leli kanye nobandlululo lobuhlanga olwaluqondile.

Maphakathi neTheku, izigelekeqe zamanzi omhlaba kanye nezokuhlanza – izmboni ezinkulu, izinhlangano ezingaphandle kukahulumeni kanye nezikhulu ezilawulayo zezwe, bahlangene eInternationa Conventiom Centre, amamayela ambalwa empumalange nolwandle iIndian Ocean, lapho kugcwala khon akakhulu ezasendle zethu kakhulu. Bahlangene endaweni eyodwa yobugebengu, lapho ngonyaka odlule ngaso lesisikhathi, kwakunezigxoxo ezibanga namphumela ngenkathi ‘Yengqungquthela Yabangcolisi Bomoya’ iUNited Nations COP 17.

Asukhumbule ukuthi iCOP17 ayemukelanga wonke umuntu owayenethemba lokuthi ababusi bomhlaba kungase kwenzeke bakhulume ngenkinga enkulu ebhekene nesizukulwane samanje. Iphesenti elilodwa elalingaphakathi (ezingxogxweni) laziba izmfuno zabangaphandle zobulungiswa mayelana nesimo sezulu: ukuzinikela ngokuqinisekile ngokwenhlisa ngamazinga angamaphesenti angamashumi amahlanu ukungcoliswa komoya ngo2020; ukuyeka indlela ‘yokwenziwa ngasese umoya’ okwaziwa njengokudayisa isisisi esingcolisayo; bese ‘kuthi isikweletu sesimo sezulu’ sokhokhwe imali siuka emazweni acebile iye kwahlwempu.

Esikhundleni salokho, leyongqungquthela yaphela ‘Ngendawo Yasethekwini Yokukhulama’ eyayilokhu igcizelela izindlela zongxiwankulu, ezithokozisa kakhulu iWAshington ikakhulukazi. Isivumelwano seCOP 17 sachitha ukwehlukana mayelana nokubhekana nokufanele kulungiswe phakathi kweNyakatho neNingizimu, kanye futhi, njengomkhululumeli webhange elihamba phambili eMelika iMerril Lynch uAbyd Karmali wathi, Indawo Yokukhuluma eThekiwni yayifana nomjovo weViagra kwizimakethe ebesezikhombisa ukungabinanqubekela phambili.” Ngempela, ingxenye encane yokwenyuka kwenani lesisisi esingcolisayo kwalandela, kodwa khashesha kwaphela; futhi ithe European Union Emissions Trading Scheme yantengantenga ngawowonke u2012.

Ilokhu okuqinisekiswa isidlo senja kwasekuseni eThekwini, ngalesosikhathi, kwakungukushayana amahlombe kwezikhulu zomhlaba, kanyekanye nokungakwazi ukwenza kwalpha abaphethe kanye nokungahloniphi nhlobo abahlwempu kanye nezemvelo, futhi manje esesikubona kulelisonto eCOP 18 eDoha,ezweni lase Qatar. Okwenzeka ngaphambili ikhona okubalulekile, ukwehlisa izinga lokuphila.

Ukudayiswa kwendle
Inhlangano Yomhlaba Yezindlu Zendle isiqubulo sayo sempi sasithi, ‘ukugibela phezulu - inhlonipho kuwonkewonke!’, kubonalakala sengathi indlela enobuciko yokukhuluma sengathi banabantu kodwa bese futhi bevulela umpompi engxenye (i.e. balivale) indlela yabo. Izigelekeqe zamani kunesikhathi eside zizabalaza zifuna ukuba semthethweni ngezindlela ezivumelana nongxiwankulu zokukwehlisa amanani, futhi manje lokho sebekwenza ngokukhuluma ngokuhlonipha (futhi bazama ukuthi izingxoxo ‘zamalungelo amanzi’ bazenze zibuswe yibo) – kodwa ngokujwayelekile ngaphandle kokutholakala ngokulinganayo ukuwathola kanye nokukwazi ukuwakhokhela, futhi kokubili kungasoze kwenzeka ngaphansi kombusowongxiwankulu.

Enye indlela yalezizindlela ezincane zokwenza ngasese, lapho izinhlangano ezingaphandle kukahulumeni kanye nezemiphakathi zixenxwa ukuthi zakhe izindlu zendle bese zikhokhisa bantu abahluphekayo ukuzisebenzisa, ukuze kukhokhelwa ukwakhiwa kwazo, ukuzihlanza, ukuzigcina, inani lamanzi kanye neholo elincane.

Ngenyanga edlule emijondolo yase Nairobi eKibera kanye naseHuruma, ngachitha khona usuku ngivika ‘izindlu zendle ezindizayo’ (amaplastiki agcwele amasimba), ngenhlanhla ngangihamba izinhlangano ezimbili ezihlonishwayo lapho abasha besilisa – bathathwe kulabo ababengamalunga amaqembu ezigebengu – bakha lezizindlu zendle emva kokulwa impi encane kanye nongxiwankulu bendawo ababethathe umsebenzi kahulumeni. Lezizindlela zokuzabalaza-nokudayisa, okubiza uUS$0.10 ukuzisebenzisa (okuhlanganisa kanye necezu lwephepha lokusula), okuyinqibekela phambili kunezindlu zendle ezindizayo.

Lokhukungabikhona kweqiniso kungumphumela kwemithetho yongxiwankulu okwafka kwimijondolo yaseNairobi cishe eminyakeni engamashumi amabili nanhlanu: ukunqunywa kwamanzi abexhaswa nguhulumeni. Insalela enamandla – kwixingxoxo zeBhange Lomhlaba kanye nendlela encane yongxiwankulu yokwenza ngasese – kusobalala kwiNgqungquthela Yezindlu Zendle eThekwini njengoba kwenzeka kwiNgqungquthela Yamanzi Yomhlaba eMarseilles ezinyangeni eziyisishagalolunye ezedlule. Leyonkomfa yabuye yaqinisekisa ukuthi ukuthi ukusabalala kokuphathwa kwamanzi izikhulu zomhlaba okwandiswa imboni yangasese yaseParis enkulukazi njengeVeolia kanye neSuez, kanye nezicebi zokuphuzwayo njengeCoke kanye nestle, bonke besekelwa amabhange ahlukahlukene okuthuthukisa.

Noma-ke eminyakeni emibalwa, imizabalazo eshubile emelene nokwenziwa ngasese yenziwe eCochabamba,eGoli,e Accra,e Argentina,e Atlanta,e Jakarta,e Manila kanye nezinye izimpi zamanzi ezindaweni zasemadolobheni, kubonakala sengathi izinkinga zohulumeni bomasipala eMelike kanye nasemazeni aseNyakatho zize nethuba Elisha labazuzayo ngamanzi.

Kwingqungquthela yaseThekwini, kwakwenziwa imilingo enokuhlakanipha yongxiwankulu. ‘Ukuhlanza Okuholwa Umphakathi (CLTS)’owadunyiswa omunye wezinhlangano ezingaphandle kukahulumeni uKamal Kar kanye nesifundiswa uRobert Chambers eBangladesh belokhu bedlulisela okufanele bakwenze zokuhlanzeka kwemiphakathi okya ezansi kubantu. Umnyombo ukuqeda ukuthi abantukazana bangazimeleli ekuxhasweni ngokubaphoxa emphakathini.

Kuchaza uPetra Bongartz waseSussex University, “Ngamathuluzi aqashwa iclts, umphakathi ugcine ubonile ukuthi ukuzikhulula kwawo yinto eyihlazo. Ngokuzizwa benamahloni, sengike ngabna abantu befela, abanye bephenduka bebheke eceleni uma bebona amasimba. Futhi abanye bayahlanza uma bewabona. Ihlazo enye yezinto ezidalwa iCLTS. Ihlazo lidalwa isithombe esimbi samasimba, ikakhukazi uma amasimba esemasha futhi emanzi.”

Izimali zezwe zokuletha ezokuhlanza zincane, ngakho-ke amacebo okuhleka ngobulima izikhulu zeMinyango Yezezimali emazweni amaningi ukuthi angenzi kube sezwezi futhi kuncishwe, futhi ngokwenza lokho, badlulise imisebenzi yabo komasipala kanye nabantu abangena madla. Ngendlela kwenye inkathi ebizwa ngokuthi ‘ukuyalezwa okungaxhasiwe’.

Amanzi angcolile aseThekwini
Kulesisimo, izakhamizi zaseThekwini ezinjengami zinesikhathi esinzima sihlukanisa izingxoxompikiswano ezinhle kanye nezimbi uma kuza ezingeni lamanzi kanye nokuhlanzeka. Ekuqaleni kube ngamahlebezi, okwagwaliswa abezindaba, ukuthi kuphuza amanzi aseThekwini kubi kuthina sonke. Njnegoba idolobha liqala ukwenza kabusha indle yedolobha kanye namanzi omfula kwiDam laseNanda eligcwele imercury (kunezinkomba ezixwayisa abadobi babaZulu ukuthi bangawudli ufishi abawudobile) kanye nemanye amachibi agcwele iE.coli, sizogcina sigula futhi somile njengezakhamizi zamadolobha ambalwa asesiFundazweni saseMpumalanga.

‘Kumadolobhana’ amaningi amancane kusukela empumalanga neGoli kuya kumgcele waseMozambique eKruger Park, iAcid Mine Drainage kanye nelunye uketshezi oluyingozi oluvuza ngokungapheli kwizimboni zokumba amalahle. Umnyango wezemvelo awunaki kwakunaka. Phakathi kwesimo esiya ngokuba sibi kakhulu sokushintsha kwesimo sezulu, ukwehla kwezinga lomoya kanye nokungcola kwamanzi okusabalele, kubi kakhulu kodwa kuliqiniso – njengoba nohulumeni kaKhongolose uvuma kwimibiko engacacile – ukuthi ubandlululo ngezemvelo lwalungcono kunenkululeko.

Ukwenza isibonelo, ekugcineni impela kwemakethe evulelekile kahulumeni, itshe lweqhwa elincibilika ngokushesha, imboni kaCyril Ramaphosa yamalahle yayekelwa ukushushiswa ngenyanga edlule ngokusebenza ngaphandle kwemvume. Ukumanandla kwezombusazwe kukaRamaphosa kwbanamandla kakhulu, ngokusho kwesikhulu esihamba phambili sasePitoli ephephandabeni iMail&Guardian. Emeleni kubonakala ukuthi uRamaphosa uzoba ngummholi wesibili walelizwe kwinkomfa kaKhongolose ezoba semasentweni amabili azayo, noma kubhekwa incwadi yakhe ayibhala nge-email mayelana nesibhiconga saseMarikana, okwenziwa ngamaphoyisa emavikini ayishumi nane edlule ngokuyalelwa imboni esabalele emhlabeni wonke, iLonmin, lapho uRamaphosa okunguyena okhonyayo khona.
Myalena nezinga laanzi ompompi baseThekwini, cha, angicabangi ukuthi kukhona ukukhathazeka, futhi nokuxaxeka ngokucela amanzi aqhamuka empompini uma ngidla ndaphandle ezindaweni zokudla. Okubi kakhulu ukwenyuka kokusetshenziswa kwamabhodlela eplastiki amanzi – bheka e mayelana nokunyantisa umzimba – okugcwalisa imigodi kadoti futhi amafutha kapetroli agcwala emhlabathini bese eya emoyeno eNingizimu neTheku, lapho kunesizinda esikhulu esikhulu samafutha kapetroli eAfrika yonke.

Lapho, izingane ikakhulukazi kwilokishi lesizwe samaNdiya eMerebank ziguliswa kakhulu isifo sofuba emhlabeni wonke. Lesissizinda sikapetroli abanikazi basi baseMalaysia iEnge kanye no Sapref kaBP Shell bafana ngendlela enkulu yokusabalalisa ukungcolisa umoya kumaphaphu amancane ezingan. Ngesonto eledlule, ngisho amavila eUS Environmental Protection Agency deemed BP – ‘Ngale kukaPetroleum’ (heh) –isigebengu esingcole kanjeokungenza ukuthi bangaphinde bakwazi ukufaka izicelo zamafutha kuleyandawo.

Umgomo wamanzi angcolile aseThekwini
Enye inhlebo ejikelezayo lapho imayelana nomphathi wamanzi kumasipala weTheku odume umhlaba wonke, Neil Macleod. Umthandi kakhulu wabantu ngokunikelela ngezimali usozigidigidi kanye nomqali weMicrosoft uBill Gates owabhala eminyakeni emibili edlule ukuthi uMacleod “ube ngumholi ngokucabanga kahle ukuthi ukuthi singenziwa kanjani isimo sokuhlanza kwahlwempu eThekwini.” Kodwa ngenyanga edlule uMacleodwabekwa icala lwenkohlakala ngabaphethe (ayebasesha ngelelocala naye).

Lokhu kwenzeka ngenkathi lapho owayengumpathi wedolobha laseThekwini uMike Sutcliffe ngenkathi ezama ukusabisa lowo osephethe manje uS’bu Sithole ngokuthi icala baliqedele ngaphandle kwenkantolo mayelana nokubekwa icala lenkohlakalo okungashiya abakhokhi bentela bekhipha mhlwawumbe isgidi samadola ukuze aphile kahle uSutcliffe ngenxa yoku’’thunazwa kwakhe’’. Noma-ke Umbiko kaManase mayelana nenkohlakalo yedolobha – lapho uSithole enze asho khona ukuthi uSutcliffe kufanele abhadle ejele – namanje kuseyimfihlo kahulumeni, mayelana nodaba lukaMaCleod noSutcliffe,nginesiqinisekiso ukuthi bobabili unfairly maligned.

Manje-ke, kungafanele kukhulunywe okungelona iqiniso ngalamadoda, hayi ngoba silwa nawo ngqo, kodwa ngokukhwabaniswa umphakathi, ukubeka impilo yabo engcupheni, kanye nemigomo ecekela phansi ezemvelo okungaphansi kokuqashelwa yibo?

Ubufakazi obusobala kakhulu ngokuphoxeka kwedolobha ngemibiko yamazinga aphezulu e-E.coli kanye nolunye uketshezi oluyingozi emifuleni echithela olwandle, okwaholela ekutheni ukuthi silahlekelwe amaflegi asibhakabhaka ezindaweni emachibini olwandle ayishumi aseThekwini eminyakeni emine edlule. Kulenyanga kubalulekile ukuthi sihehe izivakashi eziqhamuka eGol, ngakho lezizichotho zemvula sikwenza lokhu kube nzima kakhulu keezokuvakasha zethu, uma sesibheka imibiko yangesonto eledlule ngokungavikeleki kolwandle lwethu.

Kungani indawo ende yolwandle lwaseThekwini kungabhukudeki kulona emva kwezimvula? Okudala lokhu okuhamba phambili ukuqhubeka kokuhluleka kukaMacleod ukubhekana nokungahlanzwa osekunesikhathi eside ezakhiweni ezingaphezulu kwekhulu zemijondolo ezisabalele kulolonke idolobha. Lapho, uSutcliffe wanqaba ukwenza emthethweni ukuhanjiswa kwezinsiza zikamasipala – njengamanzi kanye nokuhlanzwa kwendle – ngenxa yokuthi izakhiwo abantu abazakhele zona, ikakhulukazi ngoba izakhamizi zamaNdiya kanye nezimhlophe zabe seziphoqelekile ukuthi zisuke kulezizindawo.

Izakhiwo eziningi zemijondolo, cishe ingxenye enkuluyezakhamizi zayo zingabantu abangu3.5wezigidi abahlala eThekwini, zinezindlu zasendle ezakhiwe kabi futhi noma ezinganakekelwe, uma sesingabheki-nje ubuqhawe bemizamo benhlangano yabantu, Abahlali BaseMjondolo – abaqhamuka kakhulu emijondolo ekuKennedy Road enezakhamizi ezingu ezingu4000 kanye nezindlu zendle ezingu8 (kwaze kwathi zikhulu eziyizgwelegcwele zabaxosha) – ukuthi bagqamise isimo salenkinga.
Njengomphumela wamasimba ahamba entanta, iE.coli ivele igcwale emifudlaneni yethu ngezinga elikhulu kunelilindelekile lamazinga ka100 wezingxenye kumamililitha angu100. Ngo2010 kwatholakala kuthi isibalo seE.coli ‘’umfula uMngeni kuKennedy Road wawugijima kumazinga angu1,080,000. Isizathu:Izakhamizi ezngahlali emizini eyakhiwe nguhulumeni emingceleni yomfula uPalmiet.

Amandla ezombusazwe nezindlu zendle zobandlululo
Eminyakeini emihlanu edlule, uMaclead wangathekisa kwiphephabhuku iScience ukuthi ngo2010, “’wonke umuntu [uyokwazi ukuthi] akwazi ukusebenzisa indlu yendle ehlelekile,” ngenkathi empeleni, amakhulu ezinkulungwane engenazo, namhlanje.

Ompetha bezokuzokuhlanza bongxiwankulu bevakeshele eThekwini beze kwingqungquthela yezindlu zendle bangakuphikisa ukuthi umhlaba angeke ukwazi ukuba nemali engasebena ukwakha izindlu zendle ezingachitha njalo amalitha nagu12 lapho isetshenziswa kuwokewonke, futhi ukuthi kufanele samukele enye inhlobo yendlu yendle yenani eliphansi lapha. (Ngiyavuma ukuthi izindlu zendle zebio-gas digester zingasebenza, futhi nabahlal eduzane bakwazi ukupheka ngalegesi.)

Kodwa abagxeki abahlala emphakathini bahlale besitshela ukuthi izindlu zendle zaseThekwini ezingenamnazi amaVIP kanye nama Urinary Diversion’ ziyehluleka. Umangabe umasipala ngempela unokubhekelela ezemvelo, ilapho-ke izindawo zabadla izambane likapondo kanye nezifundiswa kungafanele zibe nelezizindlu zasendle njengokuzihlonza – hayi-nje amashumi ezinkulungwane abekwe ongqengqemeni lwedolobha lapho kugcwele khona abahola amaholo aphansi.

Ngiyisebenzisa izikhathi ezimbalwa indlu yendle usuku nosuku futhi kukhona okuncane engikukhokhayo: ngaphezulu okungukwazi ukukhokhelwa abahlwempu baseThekwini, kodwa akwanele ukuze kube khona ukulingana. Abaningi babafundi balombiko abayizakhamizi zaseNingizimu Afrika kungabalula ukuthi bakwazi ukuxhasa ezinye izakhamizi zezwe labo ezihola amaholo aphansi, ngokukhokhela kakhulu ngamalungelo okuba namadamu okubhukuda emizini yabo kanye nobhavu, nezingadi ezinkulu ezichelelwayo, ukusebenzisa imishini yokuwasha izingubo kanye nezinye izinhlobo zezinto abazijabulelayo ezisebenzisa amanzi. Phela, empeleni,leli izwe elingenakho ukulingana phakathi kwabantu okukhulu emhlabeni wonke, futhi manje isimo sesibucayi kakhulu kunesikhathi sobandlululo.

Umangabe labo abethu abangaphezulu kwamaphesenti angu80 bangakhokha okuthe xaxa ukuze bavimbe lezizindlela zabo zokuzijabulisa bona ngendlela abasebenzisa ngayo amanzi, futhi umangase uMacleod angabuyekeza amanani akhokhwayo ngokubhekelela abantu abahlwempu, ngakho-ke iTheku ngeke libe idolobha lesibili emhlabeni wonke eligodla kakhulu ngemali , ngokusho kweUniversity of the Witwatersrand Centre for Applied Legal Studies. (Idolobha elimbi kakhulu eliseduzane uMgungundlovu – obonakala ngezindlela ezindala usabuswa ngamaNgisi ngemiqondo yabo kanye nendlela yenqondo yobuntamolukhuni yokuphatha kwamaZulu.)

Umangabe ukwenza kabusha okunemicabango kungenziwa emanani amanzi kanye nezokuhlanza, umphumela kuyoba izempilo ezingcono kanye nokulingana kobulili, futhi izmali ezinye zingatholakala ukuthi kwakhiwe izindlu zendle ezihloniphekile edolobheni lonke, futhi bese kukhandwa amapayipi ahambisa indle ukuqhuma kwawo okuhlale njalo manje kuphumela emifuleni yethu kanye nasemtateni.

Emva kwezakhiwe ezidle izigidigidi zezimali , njengenkundla yebhola engasebenzi njalo, isitimela esigijimayi esixhumanisa iPitoli kanye neGoli kanye nesikhumulo sezindiza esisha saseThekwini – kwakhiwa eNingizimu Afrika kwenzelwa Indebe Yomhlaba ka2010, akekho futhi osembusweni ongathi ukukwazi ukwakha noma ukuxhasa ngeimali akukho. Okuswelekayo ezombusazwe ezibhekela abahlwempu futhi eziphethwe yibo, ngakho-ke okuzoqhubeka izindlu zasendle zangesikhathi sobandlululo.

UPatrick Bond ungumqondisi eCentre for Civil Society eseUniversity of KwaZulu-Natal.

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