“Despite the fact that we have been reporting this problem repeatedly to the municipality, we will treat this incident as an accident because this is the first time that our houses were actually flooded with sewage”
ABOUT five families in Matthew Goniwe Street in Phutanang were forced to look for alternative accommodation or endure the stench after the Sol Plaatje Municipality’s attempts to unblock an overflowing drain resulted in raw sewage erupting out of their toilets and flooding their homes.
The angry residents said they were “swimming in sewage and forced to sweep faeces out of their houses”.
The residents said that they had been complaining about the blocked drain for more than five years already but no permanent solution was forthcoming from the Sol Plaatje Municipality.
At least five houses were flooded with sewage on Saturday after municipal workers attempted to unblock the drain, leaving an unbearable stench in the area and residents having to sweep the sewage out of their homes and carry soiled furniture outside
One of the residents, who said she was “too embarrassed” to be named, explained that she was sitting on the toilet when she heard a “bubbling sound” and realised that the water in her toilet was coming back up.
“I jumped off the toilet without even thinking,” she said.
“Despite the fact that we have been reporting this problem repeatedly to the municipality, we will treat this incident as an accident because this is the first time that our houses were actually flooded with sewage,” another resident, David Jacobs, said.
According to Jacobs, the residents reported the blocked drain to the municipality in the morning.
“We went to town and are not sure whether somebody else also called the municipality, as another team from the sanitation section came with trucks and used a bigger machine to clear the blockage in the drain.
“My wife and I were called by our neighbours to come home quickly as the house was flooded with sewage.”
Another resident, Mantele Dibakwane, said that she was at home when the incident happened but there was nothing she could do to stop it.
“The municipal workers were busy outside when I heard a noise coming from the toilet, only to see faeces and toilet paper erupting out of the bowl and flooding the house.
“My sofas had to be left in the sun to dry and the municipality gave us Jeyes Fluid to minimise the smell,” explained Dibakwane.
Another resident, Paul Setshedi, who has been living in his house for more than five years, expressed his disgust at the incident, pointing out that he had just arrived home with his baby, who had been in hospital.
“This was the bad welcome we received when we walked in the door. We had to jump to work to clean the house and to take a fresh bath as the smell was unbearable. We will also have to do laundry and clean everything in the house as it all smells like sewage.”
Sol Plaatje Municipality spokesperson Sello Matsie did not respond to media enquiries.