Cleaning taxi rank for peanuts

 

Caption- DESPERATE FOR SURVIVAL: Thulani Maki at the toilets he keeps clean
Picture: ZOLILE ZAMISA

THULANI Maki, 39, is doing whatever he can to feed his family – including cleaning toilets at a taxi rank.

Maki, from Duncan Village, has taken it upon himself to clean the toilets of the Ebuhlanti taxi rank in East London and asks for a R2 donation from those using the facilities.

Desperate for a job, Maki took the initiative to start cleaning the toilets – a job he has to do without access to proper cleaning materials or an overall to protect his clothing.

He said he had visited the municipality in April last year and that Buffalo City Metropole Municipality (BCMM) mayor Xola Pakati had told him to bring a letter from the taxi association in support. He had since submitted the letter but had not yet received a response.

Maki uses a broken toilet to store his equipment and clothes.

As the toilets do not have running water, he uses a 25-litre bucket to add to the tanks.

“I struggle to do my job –  especially in bad weather.  I do a crucial job without being paid and I survive through the R2 people give me after using the toilets. If people do not use the toilets, I have to walk home without money to buy bread for my nine-year-old son.”

Ebuhlanti taxi drivers said they were not pleased with Lulamile’s working conditions.

Driver Zalisile Lipheyi said:  “The man does not have a shelter. When it is raining he has to stay inside a broken toilet. No human should be working under such conditions.”

BCMM had not responded at the time of going to press.

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