Lucky Manyisi inspects his “jurisdiction,” as he calls it. Diepsloot, section 1: its laughing school children enjoying their summer break, its makeshift shacks, its unpaved roads where pointy rocks protrude. But his focus - the core of his job and his duty to his community - are the brightly colored boxes that dot its streets: the toilets.
“As you can see there is a slight breakage that needs our attention. We don't want to see this breakage because it's wasteful of water," Lucky explained. "Then we'll make sure we clean this place, we fix the breakage, and then this thing can go back to normal.”
In Diepsloot, one of the newest townships around Johannesburg that sprang to life after the collapse of apartheid almost 19 years ago, the government installed toilets as well as running water. But Lucky says no one ever came to maintain them. So, two years ago he rallied two dozen volunteers to take on the most humbling of jobs: fixing toilets.
By now, Lucky is one of only five who stuck to their mission, earning a basic compensation of 150 rand, or about $17 (US), per day of work. Lucky, who belongs to the ruling ANC party, used to be the elected secretary general for the neighborhood. He says his new job is another manifestation of his dedication to his community.