Sewage drains blocked and overflowing in Njongo Street Site C Khayelitsha. Picture: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency (ANA)
Sewage drains blocked and overflowing in Njongo Street Site C Khayelitsha. Picture: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency (ANA)

Khayelitsha drains left overflowing as City staff feel ’unsafe’

By Siyabonga Kalipa Time of article published Mar 13, 2021

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Cape Town - Residents of Site C in Khayelitsha allege that when they report overflowing drains to the City of Cape Town they are told that City staff are not safe when they are dispatched to the area.

Residents claimed they have never seen any City official getting robbed and this is the reason given to them.

Resident Asekho Magqaza said they had been living with the situation for months.

“We’ve been reporting about the drains that are overflowing but we are told that officials get robbed when they come to fix the drains so it’s not safe for them,” she said.

Sewage drains blocked and overflowing in Site C Khayelitsha. Picture: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency (ANA)

She said as much as it might not be safe for officials, it is even worse for residents’ children because they get sick from the sewage spilling from the overflowing drains.

Magqaza said she didn’t understand:“If the concern is safety, why aren’t the officials escorted like medical services?”

Mayco member for Water and Waste, Xanthea Limberg, said the City was investigating contingency measures wherever possible, while protecting the safety of their staff.

“Our staff have been increasingly targeted by opportunistic criminals during the course of their work,” she said.

Another resident, Matumela Mayani, said the smell coming from the drains became unbearable on hot days. They had to keep their doors closed all the time, and the drains are affecting their toilets.

“My toilet is not functioning because it is also overflowing, now we must ask neighbours when we want to relieve ourselves,” she said.

Thando Dyamara said the sewage running on the streets created potholes, which damaged their cars.

“I don’t know how many times I’ve had to fix my car because of the potholes made by the sewage,” he said.

Dyamara said the whole of Site C had overflowing drains and he was worried that winter was coming and things would get worse if this wasn’t fixed.

Limberg said the pump station in Site B, which also services Site C, was vandalised and was not able to function.

“All operating equipment was stolen and the standby power supply generator badly damaged and parts were stolen. The building was also damaged, as well as the fence, which needs to be replaced,” she said.

She said they could not tolerate the actions of opportunistic criminals that impacted service delivery to residents, and condemned the theft and vandalism.

She assured residents that the City was doing all it could to ensure the repairs were done as soon as possible, “while following due procurement so the pump station can be fully operational”.

Weekend Argus

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