Home News LOOK: City residents living in ‘stinky’ lockdown

LOOK: City residents living in ‘stinky’ lockdown

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At least six streets are reported to be flooded with raw sewage, which has started to flow into the homes of residents.

RESIDENTS in Diamond Park in Greenpoint have been living in a “stinky” lockdown after the Sol Plaatje Municipality failed to attend to overflowing drains in the area.

The residents said they had appealed to the municipality to unblock the drains since before the lockdown started more than three weeks ago.

At least six streets are reported to be flooded with raw sewage, which has started to flow into the homes of residents.

“The stink is unbearable. We have contacted the municipality more than 10 times, including on the Thursday before the lockdown started, but no one has taken our complaints seriously,” said a resident, Sinnah de Kock, on Monday.  

The residents also expressed their “disgust” at the call centre staff who, they stated, refused to identify themselves and always indicated that the matter had not been reported.

According to one resident, the call centre respondent told him at one stage that they could not send anyone out as staff had already exceeded their limit for overtime.

“The call centre respondent said all the staff had already knocked off because they had exceeded their 30 hours of overtime, and could therefore not be paid,” stated the resident.

“Does that mean that there are no staff members on duty during working hours? I always call during working hours and do not expect the work to be done after hours.

“A week ago I personally went to the municipal offices but I was prevented from entering the building because of the lockdown rules,” he stated.

“Even after I was told to come home and wait for the municipal workers, they never arrived. I called the next day and they said they would raise the matter at the next committee meeting, which they said was scheduled for last week Monday.”

According to the residents, the only attempt made by the municipality to assess the situation was earlier last week. “A municipal worker went and peeped into the manhole but then disappeared again. Since then there has been no further progress.

The resident indicated that there was a disabled child staying in one of the houses where the sewage was starting to seep in.

“There are also disabled children in two other streets. There are vulnerable people who have to live in this mess.”

The ward councillor for the area, Okkie Fourie, pointed out that there had been problems with the sewerage infrastructure since the occupational certificates were handed over to the residents about three years ago. “The sewerage system is full of stones and sand and a number of the manhole covers are broken,” said Fourie.

He added that the roads were not paved. “They cannot even be called roads because they are more like deep channels. They need to be filled with gravel but this has never been done. As a result, when the sewage flows into the roads it’s a massive mess and one often sees children running through this muddy mixture of sand and sewage. It is unhygienic and a health hazard.”

Fourie said he had personally contacted the municipality on a number of occasions. “I even spoke directly to the engineer for Water and Sanitation and begged for something to be done. I have sent photos of what the situation looks like to him but nothing has been done to remedy the situation.”

Sol Plaatje Municipality spokesperson Sello Matsie confirmed on Monday that the local authority had encountered a problem with the Diamond Park Pump Station which was blocked as a result of foreign objects.

Matsie said the municipality also had a major challenge at Gogga Pump Station, where the ground caved in, as well as in Seleke Street.

According to Matsie, the Diamond Park Pump Station is “now operational and should be working as normal and the situation is under control”. 

He added that the municipality had also assisted with dousing the area with chemicals.