City upgrade sewers in Gugs

Gugulethu has received sewer pipe replacements worth millions to resolve the issue of continuous sewage spillages which cause a stench in the area.

On Wednesday February 12, Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis, joined teams in the area replacing sewer pipelines.

The City said it has already replaced 25km of sewer pipes, half of it’s 50km target.

Gugulethu pipe replacement is part of a R755 million commitment over three years to quadruple sewer pipe replacement across Cape Town.

According to the city the programme is part of a strategy to bring down sewer spills, including major bulk sewer upgrades, proactive cleaning of sewer lines, and resourcing of sewer spill response teams. For years, residents across the city continued to suffer from the unbearable smell of sewage spilling onto the streets and into their homes.

During the visit in Gugulethu, Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis has assured residents of the area that sewerage spillage and contaminated water will soon be a thing of the past.

“We are here to celebrate the 25 kilometres of sewer replacement. We are accelerating measures to serve the community. We set an ambition for pipe change this year. This is a major project. This is fantastic progress that we are seeing here today. We need much better sewer service. With this, spillage will be gone. For years spillages have been stubbornly high, ” he said.

He joined teams with an entourage of members from different government components including Water and Sanitation. Project manager Siphiwe Dube also admitted that the project is big and will create a better sewer flow. He said the challenge faced by the workers is water coming down while they are digging but are doing all they can to finish the project.

Ward 40 councillor Bongani Ngcombolo said the area had been in dire need of the upgrade for a very long time. He said Gugulethu is one of the townships that have been in the news for all the wrong reasons for years, such as being flooded with faeces.

“I am happy that spillages in the area, which have bothered residents, will be a thing of the past. But having said that, this is not enough. There is another area here, New Rest that needs this intervention. The City should also replace infrastructure in that area too. Then I can say I am happy. But I am also a bit happy that our people are working here but again, the number is not enough,” he said laughing.

Mr Ngcombolo said he cannot wait for the day when the pipes are fully functional and there are no overflows but the city said it could not give a date for the when the project would be completed but insisted that it would be “soon” adding that it was working around the clock to ensure that all sanitation issues were resolved.

Project manager Siphiwe Dube showing the Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis how hard it is to work in area where there is water coming down.
Workers battle with underground water.