Almost half of the residents residing at Dignus Street in Nellmapius extension 24 say they are having breathing problems because of a nearby overflowing sewer pipe, which had been blocked for almost a month now.
The residents complain of having to cope with an unpleasant stench in addition to faeces and bits of toilet paper floating inside and outside their houses.
However, according to the Tshwane metro, the matter was being dealt with.
Tshwane metro spokesperson Lindela Mashigo said its water and sanitation section was aware of the complaints lodged about the sewer.
“A team was dispatched on three occasions to attend to the matter, however, without a successful outcome,” said Mashigo.
The metro has now enlisted the services of a contractor to use a sewer jetting machine to unblock it.
Mashigo said further work would be done to resolve the issue on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Koketso Maga, one of the residents, said they have been reporting the matter to the Mamelodi municipal offices who always promise to send a team to fix the problem.
“We have lost count on how many occasions we reported the blocked sewer to the municipality,” said Maga.
He said each time they report it, officials would promise to send a team to come to fix the sewer.
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“They never even bothered to come, but then we would receive SMS messages from them saying that the sewer had been fixed.”
Another resident, Bertha Monyai, said they cannot even use their bathrooms because each time they flushed their toilets, the whole mess would come back into the houses and outside in the drainage system.
“We have resorted to using the toilets outside for our safety but by then it was too late,” said Monyai.
Some residents hired local plumbers to fix the problem only to find out the problem is the main sewer in the street supplying all the houses in the street.
Residents Victoria and Gideon Khoza said their 20-year-old daughter as well as some small children in the neighbourhood were “very sick” from having to inhale the bad smell.
They said the metro needs to act fast before anyone loses their life.
“We have the Phasha family, who are pensioners, and they are also suffering from inhaling the bad smell. The wife decided to leave the husband to recuperate at home,” said the Khoza family.
The matter was referred to the office of the local ward councillor, who came and promised to report the matter.
“When it rains, the situation gets worse because then all the houses would get flooded at once.
“Our houses look beautiful from the outside, but we have to walk on top of bricks to avoid stepping into the sewerage water.”
She claimed that the contractors and inspectors supposed to do maintenance on the drainage infrastructure did not do their jobs.
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