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Residents must live amid sewage, stench


“We will investigate why the councillor failed to report the matter to ensure that the problem is attended to speedily.”

COMMUNITY members in Noupoort voiced their frustrations with the delay in service delivery by the Umsobomvu Municipality after they had to live with the stench of a blocked drain for two weeks.

A resident, Jonny Barties, said their pleas to have the drain fixed fell on deaf ears.

Barties said that, as a result of the blockage, raw sewage ran down the street and posed a threat to the health of the residents, especially children, living in that street.

“We reported the blocked drain to the municipality but nothing has been done. We took our plea further and sent pictures of the sewage running in the street to the municipal manager. We saw that he read the messages but did not respond. We then approached our councillor, who stays in the same street, and asked him to come up with a solution, but even he was of no help. Out of frustration and desperation we asked municipal workers on the ground to intervene, but we were told that they do not have the equipment or protective gear to assist,” said Barties.

He said that the stench has limited residents’ movement and “normal living”.

“It is absolutely disgusting to live like this. This matter should be seen as a violation of basic human rights. We cannot enjoy our food or even walk outside as the stench is all around us. I have to drive through the sewage on a daily basis. We fear for the health of our children as they are not aware that it is raw sewage running down the street.”

Municipal spokesperson Siyabulela Phololo said that it is disappointing that the matter had not been attended to as the municipality had come up with innovative ways through which residents could communicate and report matters to council.

“We have established WhatsApp groups for communities where they can report all matters that require the attention of the council. Residents usually report matters relating to electricity, water and sewerage to these groups and in that way we respond quickly and ensure that they are resolved. That also saves the residents time as they do not have to come in to the municipality to report the problem. We have urged all councillors to create their groups as they are the ones who represent the people,” said Phololo.

He added that the local authority would investigate the matter and attend to it. “We will investigate why the councillor failed to report the matter to ensure that the problem is attended to speedily.”

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