Scene 3: Meeting With Joey


The municipality has not been involved in the 2013 WaSH team’s project work, as they saw our work in Langrug was complete after last year. The municipality decided not to work with WPI this year. After discussing the need for maintenance of the dry toilets in the Zwelitsha facility and the fact that the municipality used to pay for the maintenance of chemical toilets in Zwelitsha, we decided to meet with Joey. Joey works for the municipality and worked with the 2012 WaSH team.


Cast of Characters:

Johru “Joey” Robyn – representative of municipality of Stellenbosch

Adi, Scott, Lorraine, Joe, Mackenzie



Thai Cafe in Stellenbosch



The group met at Thai Cafe. After introductions, Joe and Mackenzie explained the Zwelitsha project to Joey, and the potential of using EnviroLoo and its required maintenance.

Scott asked Joey about the cost the municipality puts towards servicing chemical toilets, and he said the cost is R75 per toilet per day.

The group discussed the possibility of caretakers selling health and hygiene products to generate revenue to pay for maintaining the facility. Joey said the municipality does not want to be involved in any entrepreneurial schemes because if caretakers are paid directly, they must be registered and by the time their wages are taxed, they will be making much less income. On that note, he said that it is best for the municipality to hire contractors to do things like servicing the toilets because these are people who are already registered and working.

Scott asked Joey about the best access point for connecting the water, and Joey said he could point us in the right direction but he should be turning a blind eye to that type of work we are doing.

Joey said that it would not be impossible for the municipality to take the money that would go towards servicing the chemical toilets and put it towards maintaining composting toilets at a much lower cost. However, we need to put this idea into a proposal and make clear the advantages of this scheme to the municipality. He also said he would be happy to comment on our proposal as we begin to draft it.


Reflection and Learning:

It was a nice experience to talk to a municipality worker about our work. The WaSH team felt that because the municipality was not supportive of our work this year in Langrug and they wanted us to relocate to a community that is not ready for our kind of work, that they would not appreciate the project we are working on. That was simply not the case for Joey. Joey sees the needs and benefits of the Zwelitsha community and is willing to help us as much as he is allowed, and for that we are grateful.