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Calls for heads to roll over eThekwini’s collapsing infrastructure

Sewage problems have become a daily struggle for most of eThekwini residents. Photo by Willem Phungula

Sewage problems have become a daily struggle for most of eThekwini residents. Photo by Willem Phungula

Published Aug 16, 2023


Durban — The DA in eThekwini has called on Water and Sanitation officials and Infrastructure Committee chairperson Themba Mvubu to step aside because of a failure to address sewage problems that have bedevilled the city for years.

DA councillor Sthembiso Ngema said he had run out of patience with the officials and Mvubu for failing to attend to the issues which he had reported to them last month.

Ngema said he had contacted the officials and Mvubu and had pleaded with them to send teams to Merebank, where residents had been stuck with sewage in their houses for weeks, but until today nothing had been done.

He said he realised the problem was with the leadership of this unit which was failing to co-ordinate its teams to ensure residents’ complaints were addressed timeously. He urged Mvubu to come clean on whether he had power to command the officials under his unit, or step aside because there was no use in continuing to report to him if nothing was being done.

Sewage problems persist in eThekwini. Photo by Willem Phungula

“I do not know how many times I have reported Merebank to him and to the officials but, today, residents are still besieged by the sewer. Now, as the DA, we have come to the conclusion that either Mvubu lacks political will to deal with the matter, or lacks political power. Therefore, there is no use reporting to him anymore. He must resign as the committee head,” Ngema said.

A resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said he had been experiencing the problem since he moved to the area in 2012. He said the sewerage pipe had burst and faeces were coming into the bathroom and spreading all over the house. He agreed with Ngema that the problem might be the leadership, because sometimes workers came to look at the problem, promised to return, but never did. The resident said he believed the pipes were old.

Sewage problems are still a headache for eThekwini residents. Photo by Willem Phungula

Bellair, south-west of the city, is having a similar issue. Glendale Road has been covered with running sewage for four months.

Residents told the Daily News team, which was in the area at the weekend, it had been a daily struggle to live with the unbearable smell because of broken pipes.

Former deputy mayor Philani Mavundla raised the matter during his tenure.

Mvubu has been promising to crack the whip on the officials and worker and has taken a clear and dedicated posture to deal with the issue of sanitation.

The councillor, who was in a council meeting, said he would respond after the meeting.

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Daily News