Commuters at the Uitenhage taxi rank and bus terminus as well as nearby shopkeepers are calling on the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality to urgently reopen the men's public toilet.
The toilet was closed months ago due to difficulties with water pressure. Men are now using the female toilets.
The taxi rank is one of the busiest commuter centres in the Metro, shared with long distance taxis and the Algoa Bus Company inter-town busses.
Aretha Migguels, a fruit and vegetable vendor at the rank, said, "I am always afraid to use these toilets because of men who use them. There is a beer tavern at the taxi rank that often results in rowdy behaviour."
A cleaner at the toilet who did not want to be named said, "There are municipal workers who clean the female toilets and collect R1 per every toilet user. Their presence does not help anything because there are aggressive and violent men who force their way into the toilets."
A shopkeeper who did not want his name mentioned said, "Some men have the tendency of urinating on the walls of our shops. There is a stench all over and this is not healthy for our business. The municipality should disinfect the area every morning."
Spokesperson for the municipality Mthubanzi Mniki said, "These toilets are continuously vandalized. Some taps on the basins are not working. The water in the urinals is running continuously as the stopper is not working.
"The car wash guys are installing hose pipes to the basins using the same water to wash cars and taxis."
Mniki said, "The public toilets in Durban Road taxi rank were ... temporarily closed in June, August and beginning of September due to low water pressure which resulted in the toilets not flushing at all. The plumber has been called several times to look at the problem and they confirmed that the problem is the water pressure and the flushing mechanism used.
"Currently, only three out of eight male toilets are flushing and four out of eleven toilets from the female side are flushing."
He said a quotation is expected this week to fix the problem using a different flushing system.