Sol points out that copper cable theft and vandalism have hampered service delivery.
THE SOL Plaatje Municipality has pointed out that vandalism and copper cable theft are major factors crippling service delivery to communities.
This follows after community members from Ward 27 in Ritchie accused the municipality of turning a blind eye as residents struggled with blocked drains and overflowing sewage.
The residents said on Tuesday that blocked drain pipes have made their living conditions “unbearable”.
“We have been living with sewage running into our homes and yards for over a month. We have raised the matter with the municipality several times and they have failed to address the matter,” the frustrated and angry residents said.
“We have young children, as well as three people who were diagnosed with Covid-19, who stay in the street where the sewage is flowing. The sewage not only poses a huge health risk to our children and those Covid patients, but to all us residing there. We have to live in the stench every day and it is not a pleasure to live like that.”
The residents pointed out that municipal employees have only managed to find “temporary solutions” to the matter.
“The council workers were present and only poured chlorine powder on the flowing sewage. They have not fixed the pipes at all. We need a permanent solution to this problem.”
They threatened to close the N12 if the municipality does not address the problem with a permanent solution.
“We will block the traffic on the N12 if the municipality does not come up with a permanent solution. We are tired of living like we are animals,” the residents said.
Sol Plaatje Municipality spokesperson Sello Matsie said that vandalism and the theft of copper cables at the sewage plant have hampered service delivery.
“We acknowledge that there is a huge problem in Ritchie and several other areas within our municipality. This problem is mainly caused by the theft of copper cables. The copper cables at the sewage plant in Ritchie were stolen and three people were arrested in connection with that incident. The lack of cables resulted in the pump not being able to work, which in turn resulted in a blockage of the drainage system,” said Matsie.
“The theft of cables cripples our infrastructure and our people suffer in the event.”
Matsie advised residents to report cases of theft and vandalism to the authorities.
”We urge community members to report incidents of theft to the authorities and to work in partnership with the municipality to ensure that our infrastructure remains in working order.
“In some instances our investigations have revealed that some municipal employees are involved in such cases of theft. We urge the community to report anyone who is guilty of such a crime.”