Home News Call for probe into city sewerage mess

Call for probe into city sewerage mess


“Residents, their children and their dogs are suffering as a result of the unhygienic living conditions that are currently threatening their wellbeing.”

Picture: Danie van der Lith

THE SOL Plaatje Municipality has been accused of perpetrating human rights violations against the people of Kimberley as an inadequate and failing sewerage system continues to threaten public health.

This is according to the DA in the Northern Cape, which has called for an investigation by the Green Scorpions and the Public Protector or risk plunging the entire city into a swamp of raw sewage.

DA city councillor Reinette Liebenberg said that the construction of both Pescodia High School and the North Cape Mall on top of sewerage lines was among the evidence of poor planning on the part of the municipality, while a recent visit to Thusano, Galeshewe had further highlighted the extent of the problem in residential areas.

“At least six households in Thusano have been exposed to raw sewage since February this year,” Liebenberg said yesterday. “We found that affected yards have literally been transformed into sewage dams.

“The foundations of the affected RDP homes remain damp and a brand new cupboard of one resident has corroded as a result. Another resident has to keep her baby inside as she fears that the child may drown in the garden.”

“At another house, a physically disabled man cannot move around the garden safely and therefore cannot access the outdoor toilet facilities available to the household. He now has to resort to using a bucket inside the house.

“Residents, their children and their dogs are suffering as a result of the unhygienic living conditions that are currently threatening their wellbeing.”

Liebenberg added that poor ventilation, resulting from residents’ attempts to keep the stench out of their homes, was adding to the risk of disease.

She pointed out that the matter had been reported to the municipality on numerous occasions but to no avail.

Liebenberg further accused the municipality of deliberately turning a blind eye to old, shoddy and inadequate sewerage infrastructure across the city

“Just two weeks ago, chair of the IDP committee, Ronnie Morwe, confirmed on the Sol Plaatje WhatsApp group that the Mayor’s Service Delivery Rapid Response Team was dealing with it. Still nothing has been done. The municipality only makes use of short-term contractors to resolve isolated sewerage problems and like to blame all blockages on human error.”

“While this certainly does play a role, there is more to the blockages than just the flushing of unsuitable items down drains.”

In response to media enquiries, municipal spokesperson Sello Matsie said that the issue was being addressed and receiving the necessary attention.

“As we speak, a team has been sent to evaluate the situation. This is a recurring matter.”