PUBLIC URINATION A CAUSE FOR CONCERN IN THE BEREA AREA
By: Dale Munatswa
Walls in King Dinizulu Road (formerly Berea Road) have fallen victims to urination from the public.
One’s peace is likely to be disturbed by the terribly acrid smell of urine, which forms a thin stream on the pavement from building walls. The community and police have been overlooking this issue for a long time, ignoring its adverse effects on people’s health and wellbeing, as well as peaceful existence.
It has been a while since this issue was taken care of, and as it stands, it is a health hazard.
“Generally, the smell that will come with the collection of urine and the collection of ammonia and all the plangent smells that you will get in a circumstance like that will cause chest illness. For someone who has asthma, it can cause them or trigger an asthma attack,” said Dr T. Goba a general practitioner and researcher.
Goba further added that for a person who has got reunites, sanities, or hay fever, it can actually cause them a bit of running nose, and that the general public and mostly children, are prone to these and other health threats.
Urine in the pavements is not only standing as a health hazard, but also as an aid in the depreciation of business for the traders in the area. Cynthia Naidoo, a grocery shop keeper in the Berea road believes that customers prefer shopping in a clean environment and will not come to a food store with dirt outside it.
“People don’t want to come here anymore. They go to Berea centre where it’s clean. Berea centre has a toilet, but they live it and come here,” she added, as she pointed to the spot where people urinate.
The area along the Berea Road is characterised by bars and bottle stores. This is where the people who urinate in the area are believed to be coming from. Most bars in these areas do not have toilets sufficient enough to cater for the number of people or customers they have, especially on Fridays and weekends.
However Steven Bellingham, a liquor store keeper dismissed the issue of not having sufficient toilets in bars, but blamed the city council for not providing public toilets in the area.
“There are no public toilets around here. The only toilet is at the Berea centre. Our request to the city council is that we get more public toilets,” he said.
The South African Police Service, in conjunction with the municipality, has however stood against the issue, and promised to work towards eradicating the problem.
Ward 26 Councillor Musa Dlamini said, “The city council is working to clean up the city in one of our programmes, and one of our main focus is that issue of removing dirt in our city.”
Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Vincent Mdunge was in support of this, and proclaimed public urination to be a crime.
“It is a social ill and it is criminal in the eyes of the law,” Mdunge said.
The SAPS and eThekwini Municipality are therefore bound to bring change, and make the city clean and peaceful in terms of the atmosphere.