Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Going on site - the bucket system area is cleaned out

Local contractors from Lwandle set about the work of clearing out the old bucket system area at Hostel 33.

Lunga Smile and Lundi Mama were there to record the careful process of removing years of rubble.

View of the only remaining timber remnant of a toilet seat was found.

Brickwork along the base is in bad repair, most probably because of the wet conditions caused by overflowing buckets over the years.

All photograph taken by Lunga Smile and Lundi Mama

In March 2010 Lunga Smile, LMLM's Curator, oversaw the cleaning out of the old bucket system area alongside Hostel33, along with a local contractor, Nqabakazi Ntoni.

This is the only remaining building in Lwandle after the Hostels-to-Homes project of the 1990s resulted in the conversion of the hostels into family units and the bucket system was replaced with waterborne sewerage facilities in the area.

Until 2010 the old structure was locked and used as an illegal dumping ground where people had thrown miscellaneous unwanted waste. As a temporary measure while people were still occupying the hostel (up until 2007 ) provision was made inside the Hostel 33 for a water borne sewerage bathroom, which is the only alteration that was made to the space since it was decided that it should become a part of the Museum.

After much debate, as part of the restoration, a decision has been made to remove this new bathroom and incorporate the story of its existence into the exhibitions around the Hostels-to Homes Project. The old bucket system area is however being restored as a key part of the story of migrant life in Hostel 33 under apartheid.

The images here show what the space looks like now that the Museum has gained access to the six - compartment bucket toilet spaces. Remnants of the stell supestructure for toilet seats are visible and there is a fragment of a rudimentary wooden seat.

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