A parent from Electra Park, Kimberley, aims to take legal action after her three-year-old daughter was diagnosed with stomach infections that could lead to cancer, due to the sewage flooding at their home.
A PARENT from Electra Park, Kimberley, aims to take legal action after her three-year-old daughter was diagnosed with stomach infections that could lead to cancer, due to the sewage flooding at their home.
This is after the child’s pathology results revealed that she had tested positive for at least four infections and she was hospitalised at a private hospital two weeks ago.
The mother wants the party responsible for the delay in the fixing of the sewerage system to pay up and to also find a suitable place for her family to stay.
She said she is seeking legal advice to find out who is responsible between Transnet and the Sol Plaatje Municipality.
According to the mother, she owes over R80 000 in medical bills, and had to quit her job to take care of her child.
Electra Park residents recently learned that the sewerage pipes in their neighbourhood are rotten and need to be replaced to stop the sewage flooding.
All that the municipality is able to do at this stage is to unblock the drains, which usually only serves as a temporary solution.
Municipal spokesperson Thoko Riet said that this is all that it can do as Transnet has to sort out its own pump station.
“We can only provide temporary relief of unblocking the drains, but the system belongs to Transnet,” said Riet.
The mother is concerned as her medical bills are piling as her daughter has to visit doctors frequently and was admitted to a private hospital two weeks ago.
She added that this was not the first time her daughter was admitted to hospital.
She indicated that she is unable to focus on running her business as she has to look after her ailing child and her mother, whose condition has also worsened due to the sewage flooding.
She added that her mother was recently urged to go for Covid-19 testing after she started to experience related symptoms.
“The party responsible needs to pay for these medical bills and find us an alternative place to stay as the doctors made it clear that we are living in an unsuitable environment for the child,” said the mother.
“We had to endure these unbearable conditions for many years and now I cannot bear it anymore because it is costing my child. It is a health risk.
“Her stomach keeps on swelling due to the infection.
“The municipality has made an effort several times, and informed us that the pipes are rotten, and it’s not their territory.”
She added that she also fears for her mother’s health because she sometimes has to carry the sewage out of the house in buckets.
“That is something Transnet cannot do.
“When the sewage flows out of our toilet inside the house, and all over the floor, we have to clean it up.
“Our yard is home to everyone’s dirt as we cannot even sit anywhere and relax like other people do at their homes.
“Sometimes we even have to ask for a place to sleep due to the unbearable stench.
“This is not human.”
Transnet insisted that it is not responsible for the replacement of the pump and expects the municipality to replace it.
Transnet communications officer Thembekile Klaas admitted knowledge of the situation in Electra Park, as the flooding is also affecting the railway lines.
According to Klaas, Transnet has signed a maintenance and repairs agreement with the Sol Plaatje Municipality.
“There was an agreement which was signed between Transnet and Sol Plaatje Municipality when Transnet built the pump station, of which clause 19 of the agreement states that the municipality is responsible for the maintenance and repairs thereof.
“Replacement of the pump is part of maintenance and repairs,” Klaas indicated.
She highlighted that Transnet has done its part in installing the pump, a project into which it has pumped lots of money.
“We are not disputing the replacement of the pump, but will need to escalate the matter internally to confirm whether we are indeed expected to be the ones to replace the pump.”