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Sewage river is killing business


“It is a major health hazard and I am surprised that people haven’t already gotten sick as a result of the sewage.”

SMELLY BUSINESS: Sewage flowing from Carr Street down De Beers Road has raised a stink amongst business people in the area. Picture: Soraya Crowie

BUSINESSES in and around De Beers Road in the city centre have complained about a “river of raw sewage” that has been flowing from a nearby manhole for several months.

The green, foul-smelling sewage, which is bubbling out of a manhole in Carr Street, forms a massive pool on the corner of De Beers Road and Quinn Street.

“Vehicles drive through this pool of raw sewage and it sprays up everywhere, covering pedestrians, nearby buildings and other vehicles,” one business owner said yesterday.

“It is a major health hazard and I am surprised that people haven’t already gotten sick as a result of the sewage.”

He pointed out that another drain a little higher up in De Beers Road, opposite the Savoy Hotel, was also overflowing.

“The municipality sent guys to fix this drain about a month ago and they dug up the road and replaced the sewage pipe. However, they did nothing about the drain in Carr Street, which was also overflowing. When I asked them about it, they said they only had a job-card for the one drain so they couldn’t fix both.”

Despite numerous appeals to the Sol Plaatje Municipality’s sanitation department, and even executive mayor Patrick Mabilo, the sewage continues to bubble out of the drain.

“If the municipality does come and clear the drain, it is fine for a few hours but is soon bubbling up again. They need to replace the pipe for a more permanent solution.”

According to the business owners, the situation is worse early in the morning. “I think that as people shower, more water flows out of the drain and it is like a river down De Beers Road, into Quinn Street.”

They pointed out further that the smell emanating from the sewage is extremely off-putting for customers.

“People don’t want to come here because it smells so bad. We try our best to keep the street clean and litter free and make it pleasant for our customers, but having raw sewage flowing down the road does not help.”

One business owner said he had even resorted to paying a private company to clear the sewage on a regular basis.

“However, we cannot keep up any more. The situation is unbearable and the municipality is doing nothing to solve the problem, despite the fact that we have to pay rates and taxes,” he added.