Building pit toilets is expensive - ministry

The Human Settlements Ministry says building pit toilets in rural areas is a costly exercise.

Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale gives his opening address at the Nelson Mandela Museum on Madiba's 94th birthday on 18 July 2012. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Human Settlements Ministry on Tuesday said building pit toilets in rural areas is an expensive exercise.

Officials met with Parliament's Select Committee on Public Services where various sanitation issues were discussed.

It costs on average R7,500 to build one ventilated pit toilet in rural areas.

Over the past two financial years, around 35,000 have been erected at a cost of R267 million.

There are currently over two million households countrywide which still do not have proper sanitation facilities.

In 1994, the backlog sat at more than five million homes.

It also emerged Gauteng and the Western Cape are not benefitting from the rural household infrastructure programme.

The department said only needy municipalities were included in the initiative.

Many communities have been involved in violent service delivery protests across South Africa in recent months.