INITIATION DATE: The project was approved on the 9th December 2011.

LOCATION: Ramaphosa is located on the intersections of Archie Road and Elsburg Road in the greater Reigner Park, Johannesburg, Gauteng. It falls in the juridical boundaries of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Government.

PROJECT IN BRIEF: Phase one of the project plan was to extend the bulk sewerage infrastructure and Phase two of the project was to install 17 new waterborne toilets.

IMPLEMENTING ORGANIZATIONS: The CCMT, supported by CORC, was responsible for the project implementation.

BASIC FUNDING DETAILS: In Phase one of the project, the costing of the infrastructure reticulation was R30,343 of which the community contributed 10% (R3, 034). This budget was only for supplies and materials, as the community vouched to pledge “sweat equity” (volunteer labour time) in the project.

Ramaphosa panorama

CONTEXT: Ramaphosa informal settlement has been subject to fierce internal unrest leading to xenophobic displacements. Lack of services and integration into the broader spatial fabric of the city has led to the community turning in on itself. However, this only narrates one half of Ramaphosa’s history. A mass movement of women residents of Ramaphosa informal settlement have stood up to spaza shop owners who tried to evict their Somali and Pakistani competitors out of the area. In applying to CUFF, the community channelled their energy into working together to improve their communal services.

PROJECT IMPACT: This project aimed to ameliorate the hygiene and safety standards of the toilet structure in Ramaphosa. After years of service delivery neglect and culturally and socially unacceptable sanitation services (such as pit laterines), the community wanted to demonstrate alternatives in sanitation services. By implementing waterborne flush toilets connected to the main sewer line, the settlement will have toilets which will eradicate the unsafe and unhygienic pit toilets which are now in use,” according to the community’s project proposal.

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PROJECT DESCRIPTION: As documented in the community application form, the Ramaphosa community has successfully built a toilet structure, and in doing so demonstrated to the municipality a valid alternative to conventional sewerage by showcasing “what we, as the community, want as a sanitation solution for the settlement”. As a follow-up on the community’s initiative to build a demonstration toilet, the community applied for CUFF capital funding in connecting the toilets to the main sewer line, and “thereafter afford the community to connect individual toilets”.

OBJECTIVES: This project aimed to install the reticulation infrastructure providing individual households willing and able to install private toilets to their homes and upgrade basic services in their community. The focal point of this particular project was the provision of sewerage infrastructure to the residents of the Ramaphosa community.

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CONSTRAINTS: At the project level, the Ramaphosa sewerage project faced several challenges and constraints. One such was the lack of technical and plumbing expertise. At the political level, the community’s engagements with the Ekurhuleni Metro fell apart when the Metro ordered private security forces the Red Ants to demolish the demonstration unit, citing encroachment on public land as their justification.

This has brought the project to a complete standstill, and phases two and three, which would have consolidated the reticulation infrastructure to individual and community waterborne flush toilets, did not reach implementation stages. The costing, subcontractors and plans have been prepared, but until the Metro renegotiates the terms for development, this is likely not to take place.