INITIATION DATE: The CUFF application was approved on the 9th of December 2011.

LOCATION: Silahliwe informal settlement is located in Katorus, Ekurhuleni and is home to 536 households.

IMPLEMENTING ORGANIZATIONS: The CORC technical team from the Johannesburg office supported the Silahliwe community.

PROJECT IN BRIEF: Phase 1 of this sanitation project was aimed at casting a concrete slab and fencing a communal toilet block to ensure general safety and upkeep of the facility.

BASIC FUNDING DETAILS: In Phase 1, the community submitted a proposal to erect a palisade fence around a communal toilet block. The project cost R7,441 of which the community contributed R744. Budgets have been submitted from phases two and three, which brings to project budget to R100,000 including materials, labour and contingencies, but the community has not followed through on saving and preparing project plans for phases two and three.

CONTEXT: According to the local leadership, Silahliwe temporary relocation area was established in 2007 by the Ekurhuleni Metro for beneficiary households moving from other informal settlements to formal housing projects. “They promised that we will only stay for three months,” objected one community leader, “but we have been here since 2007 until now”. What was first intended to be a temporary relocation area has now become a new informal settlement of 536 households.

PROJECT IMPACT: The Silahliwe community completed their settlement enumeration with assistance from ISN and found that some of the most pressing needs were centred on the safety and security of the public sanitation facilities. This spurred them to initiate a proposal to CUFF with the stated objective to improve the living conditions of the entire community. In the proposal the community arguedthe fence will make the use of the toilets safe and keep it in a good condition as previously it was vandalised and used as a toilet open to the general public”. The implementation of the project has also renewed the links with the ward councillor, who is still engaging with the community on longer-term development.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The upgrading of the sanitation facilities in Silahliwe consists of three project phases, all of which contributed to the functionality and safety of the services provided.

  • Phase 1: Fencing a communal toilet block for safety and maintenance
  • Phase 2: Installation of four taps and concrete slabs
  • Phase 3: Construction of two new communal sanitation facilities

CUFF has made an in-principle commitment to fund all three phases, but to date, the community has only prepared a proposal for phase one, which has been completed. The fencing of a communal toilet block in phase one was primarily aimed at the safety, security and upkeep of this communal facility.

We went to the councillor to speak about the land, then he came with an agreement about us staying in this place. In this area there is only space for 246 plots, and so this land cannot accommodate all the people… so we started to improve this area in small ways.

Community leader, Silhaliwe informal settlement

OBJECTIVES: The full phased upgrading of sanitation facilities in Silahliwe was aimed at improving access to better located and quality services. Phase one of the project has the objective to create a safer sanitation facility, and allow for the community’s oversight over usage (since it was vandalised) and maintenance of the facility.

DSC_0146CONSTRAINTS: The community has successfully completed phase one of three in the sanitation-upgrading project. CUFF has made an in-principle commitment to see through the entire project, but the community has not followed through on savings and project planning.

Phase two entailed the installation of four taps and slabs. Currently there were only six communal taps servicing 536 households. According to the community’s proposal, the taps were “in a bad state, and continuously leaking or running”, which “resulted in a serious waste of water”.  The project plans to better access to water points, which can be easily maintained by the community.

Phase three outlines plans for the construction of two new toilet blocks. The building consisted of one block subdivided into one male and one female section.  In total, one male urinal and seven individual male toilets, along with 8 female individual units were constructed. Previous to this there were 10 pre-cast toilets, which were removed by the Metro, resulting in ad-lib toilets being constructed between houses, which were “beginning to pose serious health hazards”.