THE BULAWAYO City Council has resolved to privatise all its public toilets by leasing them to private players citing unsustainable maintenance costs.
This was revealed in their latest council minutes gleaned by Southern Eye, where the council’s health, housing and education committee said leasing the public toilets was a good option that would help prevent vandalism of the facilities.
Part of the minutes read: “On December 7 2012, council resolved to approve application for leasing of public toilets such as the Lobengula Street/2nd Avenue and Samuel Parirenyatwa/1st Avenue.
Taken from the Southern Eye
“The cleanliness of such toilets had improved and as a result more people were able to utilise them than previously when they were always fouled.”
“The department had seen an improvement in cleanliness in toilets that had been leased out.
“Free toilets experience more vandalism and fouling than toilets where a small fee was required.
“It was recommended that council reaffirms the resolution to consider applications to lease toilets on individual basis.”
Councils’ health department blamed failure to maintain the public toilets on the biting economic situation.
“The biting economic climate ensured that council continued to struggle to maintain even the remaining toilets that it was running for free.
“In realisation of the failure of council to provide a full time cleaner to maintain and keep the public toilets clean at all times, vendors in Site 4 had requested council to lease them the toilets at the 3rd Avenue Terminus,” the report said.
“Council had resolved in July 2010 to lease out the toilets to the vendors even though there was no other toilet available for use.
“The toilets were leased out and patrons pay a small fee and the toilets were always in a clean state of repair,” the minutes read.
In May, Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum senior projects lawyer Tafadzwa Christmas said privatisation of public toilets was a violation of human rights as use of toilets was a basic need and might result in poor people failing to afford the fees.