Houses in 4th Street in Ritchie have been flooded due to a water pipe that has been leaking since April.
HOUSES in 4th Street in Ritchie have been flooded due to a water pipe that has been leaking since April.
Residents stated that their walls have developed mould and damp, while they had to scoop buckets of water out of their homes every day.
One resident, Cecile van der Linden, said she is constantly ill due to the damp conditions.
“The house is like a freezer, we cannot continue living like this. I am afraid that it may damage the electrical connections and I am wary of making use of the washing machine, so I only load necessary items to be washed.”
She added that insurance companies refused to pay out for claims if the leak was not fixed.
“I don’t even know how much it will cost to fix – the houses may have to be demolished and rebuilt. We are at our wits’ end. Since the problem started in April we have tried everything in an attempt to get the municipality to fix the problem but we are not getting help anywhere. All the houses in 4th Street are affected.”
Van der Linden stated that residents in the street had purchased the houses and were not able to sell their properties.
“The value of the houses are reduced because of the water and nobody will be prepared to buy a house with these conditions. The soil in the yard is like sinking ground as it is submerged with water.”
Another resident added that he had tried seeking assistance from Sol Plaatje Municipality and the ANC, to no avail.
“The tiles in my house are lifting up because of the water that has been drenching my house for the past two months. My yard is flooded with water and all my furniture and appliances were damaged. I have had to place bricks in my sitting room in order to avoid having to walk in the water.”
Sol Plaatje Municipality spokesperson Thoko Riet said a team was currently on site to unblock the stormwater drain.
“There is a blockage that does not allow the water to flow properly. The pump station also needs to be fixed as there are not adequate pumps to avoid constant blockages.”
She indicated that affected residents could put in a claim at the insurance section of the municipality.
“Consequence management will be implemented for officials who are not doing what they are supposed to do, especially if it affects service delivery. We are here to work and serve our communities,” added Riet.