Raw sewage causing a stink for south Durban families

By ANELISA KUBHEKA Time of article published Jun 26, 2020

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Durban - WHILE a Lamontville family can finally breathe easily after contending with sewage flowing into their property for a week, a Merebank family  are still awaiting action from the eThekwini Municipality. 

They have had sewage flowing into their property since April from a manhole nearby.

Pensioner Rose Ngutyana, who lives with her children and grandchildren in Lamontville, was happy to reclaim her property from the stench of sewage.

She said her concerns had been eased these past few days without sewage flowing from a manhole.

"The children were a problem. We had to keep a close eye on them and chase them away now and then as we couldn't keep them cooped up inside. We lived with the horrible smell for a week," she said.

She explained that while the manhole was not near her property, sewage flowed from it from the road into her yard, blocking her shower.

"When I want to use the toilet I take off my shoes and walk in the sewage water to get to the toilet. I had no choice. When it started (the municipality) came to fix it but the very next day it started up again. I hope it doesn't happen any more."

Merebank resident Joel Somaroo, who also  has tenants on his property, faced a similar problem, but since April.

"The conditions have become unhygienic. My tenants are unable to to use their toilet because the sewer is overflowing," said.

Somaroo said the leak was coming from a park nearby. He first reported it on April 14 with no action taken.

"I reported again on April 27 and the municipality responded. They said a main line was blocked and they went away. It still has not been sorted out. A week ago, I had to get someone to clean around the manhole to at least get some of the sewage gone. This cost R200," said Somaroo.

He said his tenants were a family of three which included a 5-year-old child.

"It's sad that during the Covid-19 pandemic government, especially the President who called for people to be in a cleaner cleaner environment and ensure people washed their hands, failed to emphasis this with the municipalities to ensure a quicker response during this time," said DA proportional representation councillor Sthembiso Ngema.

He aid for the past six years opposition parties having been calling on the city to invest in its infrastructure.
"These pipes systems are long overdue for replacement. It's been underground for more than 35 years."

Municipal spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said the city had dispatched a team to Merebank to unblock the manhole."However, we appeal to all residents to guard against disposing foreign objects into the system as this results in it clogging. We apologise for the inconvenience this has caused."

Daily News

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