Durban — EThekwini’s ward 31 community in Overport has called for the city’s urgent intervention over a dumpsite that has “accumulated” for more than three years opposite their homes and a sewer line that has been blocked and overflowing.
The residents’ demands for action followed their “strings of reports” to the municipality about the situation with “little to no action” taken by the eThekwini Municipality.
Ward 31 councillor Remona McKenzie said: “I have also been engaging with the municipality. This is a huge health hazard. I have had meetings with the health department, I have not received a response. I have had meetings with DSW (Durban Solid Waste) to do an operation clean-up.
“Unfortunately, they have not. They are filling the faeces on the abandoned land and residents can’t open their windows. They are inhaling this smell.
“There has been a barrage of emails between me and the necessary departments, including iTrump (Inner eThekwini Regeneration and Urban Management Programme) and the city manager.
“The process to fix this is either incredibly slow, or a forgotten nightmare for the city,” she said.
McKenzie said the state of affairs not only posed significant health risks to residents but also affected quality of life and property values in the area.
The dumpsite is at the corner of Sheringham Road and Hill Street in Overport.
McKenzie said the problem was further worsened by residents who are now using the vacant plot as a dump site.
One resident, Tariq Sarkot, the property manager of Sheringhill Flats across from the dump site, said, “Tenants are complaining that they are getting sick. I have prospective tenants who want to move in but because they look at this dumping zone and the smell, they don’t want to move.
“People are using it as a toilet and to dump their rubbish. They are also using the grounds to do illegal activities like smoke whoonga. We have women at home alone,” he said.
The problem in the area is worsened by the sewer line, which is blocked and overflowing.
According to McKenzie, the municipal plumbers have been to the site several times to clear the lines, unsuccessfully.
eThekwini Municipality’s head of communications, Lindiwe Khuzwayo said: “The city always attends speedily to sewage leaks or overflows reported, but the challenge is that manholes are clogging because people dispose of foreign objects into the system.
“We are appealing to all our residents to desist from doing that. We have escalated this matter to the relevant unit.
“We apologise for the inconvenience.”
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