Petition by Soshanguve residents against unbearable stink from leaking sewerage pipes
By Rapula Moatshe 6m ago
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Pretoria – For three years residents of Soshanguve Block X have been forced to endure the unbearable stink from leaking sewerage pipes.
This had not been attended to by the City of Tshwane in spite of continual complaints.
Residents finally put together a petition to put pressure on the metro to unblock the sewerage pipes this week.
The blocked pipes have resulted in raw sewage bubbling up through manholes and flowing into the streets.
Children are often seen dipping their feet in the sewage when playing outside their homes.
In their petition dated January 18, residents said: “We are worried about the sporadic sewage leaks in the area that go for a long time without being repaired. This leakage which has been going on for the past three years unattended causes health hazards in the community. We asked the municipality to attend to the leakages but nothing was done for too long.”
The Manaka family in Lebelela Street feared that the sewage smell might have affected their health.
Piet Manaka said: “For the whole of last year we had to endure the bad odour coming from the leaking of pipes and now we are starting to cough.
“We suspect it might be because of the bad smell from the raw sewage.”
According to community members, the problem started in 2018 and had kept resurfacing every time after it was fixed.
Residents called on the municipality to come up with a long-lasting solution to the problem.
One said: “Sewage is a problem for our health. We are in a disaster because of the leaking sewer. When we are eating we often have flies around us because of the smell and that is not healthy.”
Another resident, Martin Seabe, said the community was also worried about the poor state of the gravel roads, which had not been upgraded in a long time.
“I have been living here since 1998 and the municipality has not done anything to improve the roads’ infrastructure here. What is the use of putting up street names without constructing a tar road?”
The chief of staff at the metro, Jordan Griffiths, said they were aware of the leaking sewerage system that was affecting residents. “The matter was resolved but it was not done within the required response time targets that the City sets for itself. We are continually working to improve on this so that we provide a quality service to the residents of the city. Core among this is tracking and evaluating our response times and how quickly we address the issues raised by residents,” he said.
The repeated overflowing of sewerage pipes indicated that there were items being disposed of that were blocking the line.
“In this particular case, City of Tshwane teams discovered that the manhole cover had been stolen and that foreign objects had directly blocked the line,” Griffiths said.
Regarding roads, he said the City had a dedicated operational budget specifically for gravelling them. “Teams are deployed to ensure roads are at an acceptable standard. With heavy rains this can negatively affect the progress that has been done in relation to gravelling. The claim that roads haven’t been gravelled in months is noted and this will be addressed," Griffiths said.