Fix my toilet @helenzille | Sanitation Hackathon

Fix my toilet @helenzille

Short description 

Cape Town has many existing toilets that are broken and unusable. A system to report faulty toilets & track their repair is what need!

Crisis statement 


There are thousands of toilets in Cape Town, put there by the municipality, which are unusable (or just plain disgusting and unhealthy to use) as they are in poor condition – dirty or broken or dirty and broken.  There is also a janitorial system to repair them, but stronger links to the community and more oversight could really lead to great improvements and, from there, to greater civic responsbility.

Needs statement 


Several parties are interested in developing a system that would allow poor communities to report problems cheaply and easily.

A simple mobile-2-web system could provide a simple way for users to give feedback on their mobile phones, warning of problems and strengthening the incentives for maintenance managers / janitors and government to do a good job.

The same system can reduce the oversight costs of government by helping them understand when the system is responding and working and when it is not (it would, of course, need to be reinforced by in person follow up and checks).

It could provide a simple oversight and accountability mechanism for janitors and other staff, and perhaps provide the basis for performance-based contracts.

Last of all, perhaps by including photos, it can invoke public disgust and shame to really take public sanitation to a new level in South Africa.

Impact statement 


The City of Cape Town would be able to monitor both problems and responses and thus deal with a controversial and political ‘hot potato’ – and in doing so set a positive example to other cities and towns across the country.

Expected outcomes:

– Improved health and livelihoods of people living in low income communities

– Increased accountability of the City Authorities and improved targeting of resources by them to deliver sustainable and efficient services to people living in low income communities

– Tens of thousands of people with access to sanitation facilities being managed and operated efficiently and effectively.




Swap Botswana's picture

We are working with My Society and UK based charity with support from the Indigo Trust. They develop web based tools to empower communities.

They have a product call ‘Fix my Street’ which we are hoping to adapt into ‘Fix my Toilet’ (Wit funding from the Indigo Trust). Its still in develpmeny so happy to enage with you if you want to assit in the development phase ?



Robert, if it’s an open source project is the development process invitation only? The Taarifa project has been going for a year now offering open source stack (with a large community in support) for identifying and fixing community and public service issues.

By |2022-07-06T11:36:32+00:00July 6, 2022|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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