Johannesburg - Residents of Mayfield in Deveyton are up in arms as they accuse the Ekurhuleni municipality of endangering their lives.
This was after the municipality allegedly left a project to stop raw sewage spillage unfinished. Residents said this has put their lives in danger after the municipality dug a big hole next to their houses and left the area.
They added the municipality’s failure to stop sewage spillage that flows into their homes has also put their health at risk. They said they had been living with this problem for years. They said the problem has turned their yards into a wetland.
Community member Adelaide Mazibuko said this started after Ekurhuleni failed to fix drainage that had been blocked. She said the municipality was aware that the pipes needed to be replaced, but failed to do so.
“It seems like they no longer care about what is happening. They came, dug, and left. Now our children are in danger and we have to keep them inside the houses because we are the ones who will be arrested if they fall into the holes,” she said.
Mazibuko said this was sad, because some houses were cracked when the municipality workers dug the hole. She said that some houses close to the hole were showing signs of possibly collapsing if the municipality continued to ignore it.
“They even broke the meter pipes and left everything like that. Shockingly, the same people who are supposed to save water are the ones who broke the meter and left without fixing it,” said Mazibuko.
She added that the councillor was informed about this problem, but opted to do nothing about it. Another resident, Hlengiwe Sibanda, said she was forced to keep the doors and windows closed to avoid the stench coming from the sewage spillage. She said her house was cracked.
“And they just left everything like that. I don’t know what they want me to do. They also broke the water pipes and I am forced to ask for water from some of my neighbours to be able to use the toilet and cook," she said.
The 32-year-old mother of three said she was worried about her children, because of the hole.
“The schools will be closed soon and the children need to play. How are they going to play when things are like this?”
Councillor Stenias Mashala refused to respond, saying questions should be directed to the Ekurhuleni spokesperson. Another resident, Sithembiso Lunga, said sewage flowed into her house when the drainage blocks.
“Although I don’t remember, this has been happening for years. The situation gets worse when it is raining because it blocks the toilets. This is sad because my house is cold and stinks. We went to the municipal offices and we were told that there was money to come and complete this project,” said Lunga.
She said she waas temporarily staying at a friend’s house because she is worried that the house might fall into the hole.
“I even had to take my children to the relatives. My husband can’t park a car because of this hole. This house is always locked. I don’t care anymore, even if criminals break the houses I have no problem because there is no life here. The government should relocate us to another area because this problem will never be resolved,” she said.
ActionSA constituency chairperson in Daveyton, Penelope Gwebu, said her party would take legal action should Ekurhuleni fail to resolve the matter. Gwebu said it was heartbreaking that the residents were living in such conditions.
“I went to Ekurhuleni to report this matter and they said they would revert to me. I am still waiting for their response to this day. The sad part of this whole thing is that the municipality had never bothered to come and explain the whole situation to the residents.”
She added: “This a wetland; government should move the people to another area. If they’re not doing anything about it, then we should take another step,” Gwebu said.