Residents endure sewage spills and living next door to pigs

POLLUTED ENVIRONMENT: Illegally dumped garbage litters the roadside throughout the area near the sewage pond Picture: ROB KNOWLES
ILLEGAL PIGGERY: Feeding time for the piglets, who suckle from their mother in a pigsty also next to the sewage pond Picture: LEBOGANG TLOU

IMAGINE waking up, living and cooking and in an environment which smells like a pigsty and sewage.

Despite having been assured over 10 years ago that their situation would be temporary, residents living near the sewage pond in Kenton’s Ekuphumleni township still find themselves in a smelly situation.

“If they say temporary, how long is temporary?” asked local activist Reverend Mlindi Wopa, who alerted TotT to the problem.

Wopa expressed his dismay on when the sewage vacuum tanker came to pour sewage into a manhole that leads to the sewage pond, and lamented over how no real change has been brought to the area in the past 10 years.

“We’ve already written a letter to the mayor. We scheduled a meeting with him on Sunday the eighth [of January],” Wopa said.

“Some of the residents have lived in this area for over 10 years,” said Wopa. “They were told they would be moved into RDP houses when they were completed but, so far, no one from here has been a new home.”

To make worse the situation, there has been a sewage spill in the area this past week. Witnesses further reported having seen vacuum tankers offloading illegally in the area, treating it as a dumping zone.

“It’s wrong,” said Mam Mavis Gxowa, who lives close to the area. “It’s been a while that we have been dealing with this. I cannot even cook because of the smell.”

The residential area in question is situated around a sewage depository and has become an illegal dumpsite for builder’s rubble and household refuse, as well as residue from the sewage spills over the past week.

To make matters worse, a resident is running a piggery directly in front of the depository – the stench and unhygienic conditions of the pigsty adding to the impracticality of living in this kind of environment.

The problems of the dysfunctional sewage pond and spills into the environment are mirrored by a similar situation in Marselle a few years ago, when a sewage conservancy tank leaked raw sewage into the Bushman’s River.

In June last year the Grahamstown High Court found Ndlambe Municipality in contempt of an earlier court order to rectify the situation, and handed down a structural interdict ordering the municipality to properly maintain the Rivers Bend pump station and the Marselle/Bushman’s River dumpsite.