"The contractor needs to open the area where it is suspected that the damage happened, if we damage the new water pipes it will be a serious issue.”
RAW SEWAGE bubbling out a manhole and running down the street in New Park for around three months, is not the municipality’s problem.
Sol Plaatje Municipal spokesperson, Sello Matsie, said yesterday that while the local authority was aware of the problem, it was waiting for the contractors laying water pipes for the Sol Plaatje University to make the first move.
“We suspect that the sewerage pipe was damaged by the contractors laying the water pipes for the Sol Plaatje University when they compacted the soil.
“The problem is that we cannot do anything until the contractor points out exactly where the sewerage pipe was damaged because we cannot risk damaging the contractor’s water pipes. The contractor needs to open the area where it is suspected that the damage happened because if we, in turn, damage the new water pipes it will be a serious issue.”
Raw sewage is bubbling up from a manhole on the corner of William Gasson Street and Birbeck Avenue and, according to residents in the area, the problem has been ongoing for two to three months already.
“Sometimes it is worse than other times. We have photographs showing the raw sewage flowing from Birbeck Avenue all the way down into Black Street, almost into Long Street,” one resident said.
“We reported it to the municipality and they said that they would attend to it but nothing has happened.”
The residents pointed out that the raw sewage, which posed a major health risk, ran directly in front of two schools, namely Orel Academy and Vooruitsig Primary. “Besides the smell, it poses a massive danger to the health of our children. How can the municipality simply ignore the problem for weeks on end?”
Matsie confirmed yesterday that the problem had also been raised previously by the ward councillor, Phillip Vorster and reports had been received that the situation was also affecting the university.
Following media inquiries yesterday regarding the ongoing problem, the municipality indicated that the problem would be attended to today.
Meanwhile residents in Southridge continued to face dry taps yesterday after a major pipe burst in the area, which has seen thousands of litres of water flowing down the road towards the Kimberley Airport.
Yesterday municipal staff were repairing the broken pipe in Osborne Street and replacing a section of the corroded old pipe with a piece of PVC piping. According to residents, the problem has been ongoing with pipe bursts in the area being all too common.