Site B stormwater system gets an upgrade

Ward councillor Monde Nqulwana inspects the work being done by contractors who are repairing stormwater drains.

Motorists and residents living along the Japhta K Masemola Road in Site B can now breathe more easily now that stormwater drains which had been overflowing with smelly water, are being repaired.

The initiative is been driven by ward councillor Monde Nqulwana and the City of Cape Town. A total of R210 000 has been budgeted to fix the stormwater drains in Ward 89 and work is expected to be completed by the end of the month.

Mr Nqulwana said they had initially thought that the drain covers had been damaged by trucks and cars driving over them, but they later discovered that the underground pipes needed to be repaired as they had reached the end of their life span.

He said the residents had had enough of living in these terrible conditions.

Contractors had started with the construction work, he added.

“We want to ensure that these stormwater (systems) are repaired from the underground so that our people do not find themselves in the same situations.

“Having constant blockages of these stormwater drains put the health of our people at risk.

“The water coming from these storm water drains is polluted and can you make you sick and we fear for the children and those vulnerable. We want to ensure that everything is is order because people cant live with these stormwater drains for ever,” he said.

Mayoral committee member for transport, Felicity Purchase, said the project had been scheduled to start on March 23, but due to delays relating to sourcing local labour, the project had started a week later. She said the work would not only address blocked stormwater drains, but also repairs of damaged stormwater infrastructure, manholes and catch pits.

The damaged infrastructure was identified during a walkabout with the ward councillor,and in consultation with the Khayelitsha Roads Depot, she said.

Ms Purchase added that cleaning and unblocking of drains was ongoing as a lot of illegal dumping and sewer infiltration added to the system’s capacity and blockages in the Khayelitsha area. However, the City is attending to repairs as and when needed.

Sayi Ntshona, who runs a panel-beating business, said when the stormwater drain is blocked, the smelly water seeps through to his business, making it difficult to operate. He said he had lost some clients as a result of this.