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‘Residents to blamefor sewage problem’

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OVERFLOW: Sewage water from blocked drains still flows in the streets of Electro Park even though Transnet had assured the community that it would address the problem several months ago.

DESPITE numerous site visits by Transnet to address the issue of overflowing drains and sewage in Electro Park, according to residents nothing has been done.

Transnet spokesperson Mike Asefovitz, however, said that it was the residents themselves who were to blame for the situation.

“The drains are blocked because of waste – diapers, sanitary pads and the like – that are disposed into the system. We have embarked on awareness campaigns in an attempt to solve the problem,” Asefovitz said.

Young children and the elderly in Electro Park, who have been exposed to the sewage, have presented with various infections.

A two-year-old girl spent almost a month in hospital after apparently coming into contact with the contaminated water in the area.

Previously, Transnet also blamed the residents for the overflowing drains.

The family of the two-year-old said that they are in the process of taking legal action against Transnet. “We have already consulted our lawyers and we just have to provide a few more documents before we head to court,” the mother of the child said.

Meanwhile, Electro Park residents have also recently received final notices indicating that they are in arrears with their rent.

“Those in arrears have received final notices. The arrears vary,” Asefovitz said.

The residents expressed their dissatisfaction with this. “How are we supposed to pay rent and for services we do not receive?” they wanted to know yesterday.

The residents said that they have been forced to take matters into their own hands and have either thrown sand over the pools of sewage water or created makeshift canals for the water to flow out of their properties.

“We have to sort out these issues on our own and they (Transnet) expect us to pay for services. That is not how it works. We have been begging and pleading with them for more than eight years to sort this problem out and now this?”

An elderly resident said that she was sick and tired of Transnet’s promises. “We call them to report the problem and they say they will come and sort it out. We wait and we wait and they just don’t appear.”