For just over a month, residents have been forced to live with the contaminated water at their doorsteps.
Ward 32 councillor Sharmaine Sewshanker said a blockage in the toilets and sewer pipes around La Lucia and iSipogini informal settlements had resulted in the overflow.
“Residents are unable to use the toilets and many are having to relieve themselves in the bushes nearby.”
Sewshanker said residents had to walk through ankle- and knee-deep water to get in and out of their homes.
She said she had been locked in an email battle with officials from the city to have the area cleaned up.
“It seems like people living in informal settlements are forgotten communities. This area needs to be cleaned and serviced regularly,” she said.
Mother of two and La Lucia informal settlement resident Buhle Msomi said young children often played in the water and it made them sick.
Msomi said many adults were also sick as they used the contaminated water to wash their dishes.
Sewshanker said future rains could have a devastating effect on residents if the drains were not cleaned.
The South Durban Community Environmental Alliance’s Desmond D’sa said it was disgusting that the city allowed residents to live in squalor.
“We are meant to be a caring city, but the poor have been abandoned. The drains have been damaged by trucks and the city has not acted.
“These unhygienic conditions cause diseases such as cholera and malaria.
“This is a huge issue which calls for immediate attention from the health, water and sanitation departments,” he said.
EThekwini Municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said the city was working to respond to every complaint brought to it.
“We have dispatched our teams to respond to this issue.
“We find that residents are throwing alien objects in the sewer system such as condoms, sanitary towels, diapers and other foreign objects which result in the system clogging.”
Mayisela said the city had embarked on an aggressive communication campaign to educate the public on the dangers of disposing of foreign objects into the system.