Motion to keep public bathrooms open, approved

Ward 54 councillor, Nicola Jowell’s proposal that public restrooms on the Atlantic seaboard remain open until 10pm between October and April was unanimously approved at Sub-council 16’s meeting last week.

Currently, the facilities are open from 8am to 6pm.

The responsibility now lies with the City’s recreation and parks department to decide if the proposal is feasible. At last week’s meeting, Ms Jowell described the operating hours at the Sea Point promenade, Maiden’s Cove, Camps Bay beach and Clifton beaches as “severely restricted”, adding that they did not meet the needs of the people using and accessing the recreational areas.

The sub-council heard that urinating and defecating in public spaces were of significant concern and would be greatly reduced should the facilities be provided for people.

In 2017, Sub-council 16 approved a proposal to have a 24-hour ablution facility on the Sea Point promenade. This was a pilot project ran by the then Ward 54 councillor Shayne Ramsay who pledged R150 000 of her ward allocation for the six-month trial project, which divided the community, with some residents arguing it was a waste of money. After five months, the project was canned.

She suggested that the City kept some of the ablution facilities open until 10pm, which would not necessitate the employment of a security guard. Some residents of Sea Point had agreed with Ms Ramsay, saying the project had been a great success from a health and dignity perspective. They believe the ablution facilities should remain open 24/7.