Drain blockage angers residents

Residents have had to use bricks to cover blocked drains.

Residents of Gugulethu who live in Tshabalala and Sam streets, in NY131, have accused the City of Cape Town of failing to fix drain blockages in the area, despite them reporting the problems to the municipal offices countless times.

The residents claim that for nearly three weeks they have had to endure terrible smells coming from the drains.

Sizakele Ningiza, who lives in Tshabalala Street, told Vukani that the frequent drain blockages were causing a health hazard for residents, especially children.

Mr Ningiza said most of the drains in the area were connected to the main drain, which is behind his home and it was the one that frequently overflowed, causing havoc in the community.

He said that when the main drain was blocked, every drain in the area would be blocked and human waste would start to overflow in their yards.

Mr Ningiza said sometimes the sewage would run into their houses.

“The continuous drain blockage has seen some residents venting their anger towards us and they have accused us for not reporting the matter. When the drain blocks, we can’t even use the toilet and as you could see, the smell is unpleasant.

“We have reported the matter to Fezeka municipal offices many times and they had promised to come and fix the problem, but nothing has been done. I have lived in the area for my entire life and this has been our main problem,” he said.

Morgan Sambo, who runs an educare centre in Sam Street, said the children were getting sick due to the blocked drains.

He said some of their pupils suffered from skin rashes and others were vomiting frequently.

“We have received several complaints from the parents about their children getting sick. Some parents have threatened to stop sending their children here until this problem has been resolved.

“We have also reported the matter to the authorities many times, but nothing seems to be done to fix the problem. We are appealing to the city to please fix the problem for once and all because this has been a recurring problem for many years,” he said. He described their living conditions as awful and inhumane, particularly for children.

Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport, said the city had not received any notification about blocked sewers and they inspected the area in Gugulethu on Tuesday morning, June 21, but had not found any blockages.

“It is not clear when the residents reported the blockages – the caller would have been issued with a reference number / or service request number. It is very difficult to respond with more information in the absence of these details,” he said.