Home News ‘Forest’ a concern for residents

‘Forest’ a concern for residents


The grass and reeds are also growing higher than some of the houses due to the recent rain.

HOMEVALE Extension residents are concerned about their health and safety regarding the overgrown reeds and grass . . . which has now become a nightmare close to their homes.

The problem apparently started about three years ago and was caused by leaking sewerage and water pipes, which has now created a forest growing closer to their houses.

The grass and reeds are also growing higher than some of the houses due to the recent rain.

According to residents they have reported the matter to the Sol Plaatje Municipality for more than three years already, but nothing has been done about it.

The problem apparently started with a leaking valve in 17th Street, with water flowing into the clearing.

The clean water then meets up with the flooded sewer, next to the Roodepan main road. The sewage and the clean water have created a huge dam.

Residents complain that they have to deal with snakes, mosquitoes, rats, children playing in the dirty water, as well as criminals hiding in the ‘forest’.

They said they requested the municipality to cut down the reeds and the grass until a permanent solution is found.

One resident said they have to chase young children away who frequent the dam in an effort to cool down.

Another resident, Shaffic Abdol, said he has been forced to kill several snakes and rats that have entered his house.

“It is a nightmare. We have to deal with a lot. We suffer under the mosquitoes and a disgusting stench from the veld,” said Abdol.

“We often have to go to the chemist to buy mosquito remedies for my three-year-old toddler who suffers from serious bites. Sometimes we do not even know whether it is spider bites or mosquitoes.

“We can’t live like this anymore. We are unable to eat or sleep peacefully.”

Residents took to the streets last month in demand of decent service delivery. A member from a concerned community group, Anthony Oliphant, indicated that because they live in a DA-controlled ward, it appears as if they are being neglected by the municipality.

Residents also accused the ward councillor of running away whenever they needed him.

“He always promises to give us feedback in terms of service delivery challenges, but has failed to do so,” Oliphant added.

The ward councillor, Clifford Lewis, indicated that he has followed all the procedures to address the community’s challenges, but nothing has been done by the municipality.

He said he was promised that the matter would be brought to the attention of the Sanitation and Water Works department.

According to Oliphant, the police organised a meeting between the community, Mayor Patric Mabilo, Speaker Ingrid Koopman, and the Acting Municipal Manager, Boy Dhluwayo, following the protest on January 14.

“The mayor promised to do inspections the next day. He arrived with his delegation, as promised, on January 15.

“Another official, Phetole Sithole, visited the area on January 22 and promised that work would start within seven days. But nothing has happened since,” Oliphant said.

The mayor’s office confirmed that they visited the area with the relevant officials.

Spokesperson, Persome Oliphant, indicated that the team has been unable to cut the grass due to the rain.

She added that the mayor was committed towards ensuring that the challenges are addressed to by the teams.

“The Executive Mayor will partner with the community to work together in resolving the challenges,” Oliphant said.

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