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MBABANE – Seeing what appears to be pit latrine toilets built in the capital city’s central business district (CBD) has led to worries among some Mbabane’s residents.

The toilets are situated inside premises of a car wash business owned by the newly-elected Mbabane Mayor and long-serving Councillor Sikhatsi Dlamini.
There are concerns that bad odour from the toilets could create discomfort for shoppers since the car wash is placed not far from The Mall shopping centre, the Karalyn Centre and the Portuguese Club – all of which are busy establishments.

The toilets are used by a number of people who come to have their cars washed or to play pool as the premises also play host to pool games that draw large crowds.
“There are people who, after doing their shopping, go to relax and eat in the area behind The Mall, yet this is close to the car wash and the toilets,” said one concerned Mbabane resident.
Another concern raised was that the toilets structure was not suitable to be in the middle of the city, but in residential areas, especially townships.

However, the Municipal Council of Mbabane has moved quickly to clarify that these were not pit latrine toilets but dry composting toilets.
The Council’s Information and Public Relations Officer Lucky Tsabedze, in the company of health inspectors, explained that the toilets were constructed in such a way that they do not emit bad odour.
“If the toilets work normally, there should be no bad odour because the ventilation system was designed to control the smell’s emission,” Tsabedze said.

He conceded that the toilets were the only ones situated inside town as most of them were in residential areas such as Msunduza Township, Makholokholo, Manzana and Mahwalala.
“A structure of this nature is allowed in town. In this case, the structure was given the green light by council after building applications were made to council. But we need to educate the person responsible for the structure on how to take care of it,” Tsabedze said.

According to the Urban Government Act of 1969, in respect of erection of buildings, “If the local authority, having considered a building application is satisfied that the application in question complies with the requirements of the Building Act,  any other applicable law and this bye-law, it shall grant its approval in respect thereof.”

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