‘Unisex’ public shower hassles



November 11, 2016
‘Unisex’ public shower hassles

WASH: Women shower before men at bath house

Female bath house users fear for their safety.

Broken pipes at a Cape Flats communal bath house have caused panic among women who say they must now share showers with men.

Ladies and gents were given a timetable at the Manenberg Bath House in Manenberg Avenue, but women say they fear for their safety.

The facility, which is free to the public, was built more than 25 years ago and has nine showers.

Upgrades at the ageing bath house started weeks ago but the City of Cape Town is yet to fix the leaking pipes, resulting in men and women now sharing the same facilities.

Women are allowed to shower between 7am and 11am and men from 11.30 to 3.30pm.

Community leader Yusuf Benjamin, 63, who assists cleaner, Rhona van der Ross, says the contractor locked up the women’s section and has not returned.

“The contractor was here five weeks ago and began taking out the tiles to get to the leaking pipes,” he says.

“He left with the key and hasn’t been back.”

Rabia Kluyt, 42, says she no longer uses the showers because she fears for her life.

“I have been coming here all the years but when they said we as women must share with the men, I told my sister it isn’t safe for us.”’

Adenaan Blankenberg, 27, adds: “I will let a woman go before me to shower, but you get others that might not feel the same.”

But the City’s Anda Ntsodo says they are waiting on stock before they can continue the repairs.

She says the contractor ordered a new boiler before starting work.

However, he was later told the boiler would only arrive next week.

“The aim was for the contractor to first do the female section and then go over to the male section so that there was no interruption for users at the facility,” says Ntsodo.

“A notice has been put up to indicate the change in times so that both men and women would then use the one section, but at different times.”

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