A report on the damage caused and the subsequent cleaning up was being compiled for consideration by the city council.
WHILE there are massive backlogs, specifically in the collection of rubbish and blocked sewerage pipes, the Sol Plaatje Municipality is exercising caution until calm has been restored and the city returns to normal.
Refuse has still not been collected for a week already, while other infrastructural damage caused during last week’s protests has also not yet been repaired and the debris used to barricade roads has also not been cleared.
Municipal spokesperson, Sello Matsie, said yesterday that the municipality was “ready” to clean the city following the destruction left in the wake of the protests that crippled the city.
“Several major roads have been identified for cleaning, including roads leading into and out of Galeshewe, as well as other roads affected, while teams of cleaners are also on standby.”
He added that a report on the damage caused and the subsequent cleaning up was being compiled for consideration by the city council.
“At this stage, refuse has not been collected as we do not want to create a situation where we put our workers at risk or add fuel to a potentially volatile situation.
“This has resulted in major backlogs, especially in terms of refuse and sanitation, where council workers have not been able to get to certain areas.”
Besides the non-collection of refuse, problems with overflowing sewage in the Seleke Street area, where the pipe connects to Homevale, are also currently being experienced.
Matsie pointed out that several repairs had been put on hold until the situation in the city had normalised. “Thousands of litres of water is also flowing down the road after a pipe in Southridge burst over the weekend, while there are approximately 100 reports of blocked sewerage pipes that also need to be attended to.”
He added that the safety of workers as well as municipal equipment had to be taken into consideration.
Yesterday saw further headaches for the municipality, including a massive TLB truck which got stuck in the mud in Platfontein.
“A 315mm pipe burst in Platfontein on Tuesday resulting in residents being left without water,” Matsie said. “The truck was sent to dig the area open so that the pipe could be repaired but it sank into the mud and could not be retrieved.”
According to Matsie, a security guard had to be posted at the scene overnight until private contractors could be summoned to help lift the vehicle.
“The emergency services provided a Jo-Jo tank for the residents to ensure that they had water and the pipe is currently being repaired.”
Meanwhile, one of the two main pipes providing water from the Riverton Purification Works to the Newton Reservoir also burst yesterday afternoon.
“This is an ongoing problem as herders in the veld cut the pipe to provide water for their cattle, causing major damage as a result,” said Matsie.
The situation meant that residents in Lerato Park were without water yesterday, although it was hoped that the pipe would be repaired before nightfall.
The water levels at the Newton Reservoir have not yet been affected by the leaking pipe, although this will result in less water being pumped from Riverton to Newton.
However, parts of the city were without both water (or had low water pressure) and electricity yesterday following a power failure in Newton, which affected the power supply to the waterworks.