Transnet and the Sol Plaatje Municipality “playing the blame game” while the sewage problem in Electra Park is worsening.
THE NORTHERN Cape Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Land Reform and Rural Development has intervened in the Electra Park sewage saga and launched an investigation after a three-year-old girl was diagnosed with stomach infections that could lead to cancer, due to the sewage flooding at her home.
A Green Scorpions team has been dispatched to the suburb to perform an oversight inspection and will compile a report soon.
The family of the three-year-old girl plan to take legal action after they were left with expensive medical bills due to the little girl being continuously admitted to hospital because of the sewage flooding at their home.
The child’s pathology results revealed that she had tested positive for at least four infections.
According to the child’s mother, she owes over R80,000 in medical bills and had to quit her job to take care of her child.
She said she is seeking legal advice to find out who is responsible between Transnet and the Sol Plaatje Municipality.
The spokesperson for the Northern Cape Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Land Reform and Rural Development, Zandisile Luphahla, said on Tuesday that it is the department’s responsibility to perform oversight inspections in areas where sewage spillages are affecting people’s lives.
According to Luphahla, the department has previously served Transnet with a compliance notice to manage the spillage, which it had adhered to.
Currently, however, Transnet and the Sol Plaatje Municipality are still “playing the blame game” while the situation is worsening.
Electra Park residents recently learned that the sewerage pipes in their neighbourhood are rotten and need to be replaced.
The municipality has stated that all it can do is unblock the drains, which usually only provides temporary relief, as the sewage pump station belongs to Transnet.
Transnet communications officer Thembekile Klaas said, however, that they had signed a maintenance and repair agreement with the Sol Plaatje Municipality.
Klaas said the flooding is also affecting the railway lines and needs to be addressed speedily.
She indicated that Transnet has done its part in installing the sewage pump and that the replacement of the pump is part of maintenance and repairs, which is the municipality’s responsibility.