Overflowing drains frustrate residents

Resident, Bhaqangile Ngoso, stands next to the drain which overflows with human faeces.

Human excrement overflowing in Lillian Ngoyi Street in Samora Machel has become the daily experience of the area’s residents, with faeces sometimes seeping into houses.

This was evident when Vukani visited the area on Sunday March 17.

But the City says the latest incident was caused by load shedding, which resulted in the pump station shutting down more than once in a single day.

The residents claimed that the drain had been blocked for nearly two months and their health had been compromised. The residents said in summer the smell became unbearable.

Resident, Bhaqangile Ngoso, said he had been living in area for nearly 20 years and it had always faced the same problem. He said his house was right next to the drain and so he often bore the brunt of the situation.

“I once had skin rash because we live like dogs and no one seems to care about this.

We are told to vote, but how can you vote if you are continue to live in a such mess. I bet if this was happening in white areas this could be solved many years ago. This is awful and unbearable,” he said.

Mr Ngoso said if he had the means, he would buy himself another house somewhere else where he could live in a dignified manner.

Ward councillor Sithembiso Mzobe, said since he was elected as ward councillor in 2016, he had been raising the same issue with the City, which told him the problem lies with the underground infrastructure.

Essentially, the sewerage pipes are too narrow to adequately handle the amount of waste pumped into them.

But, she said, the City had promised that they would appoint a contractor to overhaul the system.When Vukani referred the matter to the City, mayoral committee member for water and waste, Xanthea Limberg, said the situation over the weekend had been caused by a combination of load shedding and misuse of the sewer system.

She said level four load shedding had caused the pump station in the area to shut down two or three times each day, causing a backlog of sewage.

Additionally, she said, when the pump station went down the illegal items and substances in the pipe were allowed to settle, which could result in blockages or overflows when the power came back on.

“Due to budgetary constraints, it is not possible to install generators at every City pump station.

During this time while infrastructure suffers the impacts of Eskom’s load shedding, it is more important than ever for residents to protect the sewer system by not dumping anything that doesn’t belong in it. This being said the City is doing everything possible to minimise the impact on resident,” she said.