Ward 73 residents forced to live in unsanitary conditions

by Cllr. Sinethemba Matiwane — DA Councillor in Ward 73, Ekurhuleni

Date: 03 August 2021

Release: Immediate

Type: Media statement

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Ekurhuleni is shocked that the ANC-coalition* led City of Ekurhuleni (CoE) has done nothing to remedy or repair the persistent raw sewer spillages in Ward 73 in Benoni. This, after the ANC and its coalition partners* voted to raise residents’ sanitation bill by 8% this year.

Sewer is erupting in every area of Ward 73, which is a massive health hazard for the community. Residents have reported the challenges of sewer spillages on numerous occasions, and despite countless efforts of reporting, the CoE has failed to repair the issues permanently as they keep recurring.

The DA receives calls, daily, from frustrated and desperate residents to report yet another burst pipe and/or another blocked sewer! During the previous week, alone, more than a dozen sewer-related issues were reported to the CoE Customer Care Centre.

Residents are growing increasingly frustrated as the stench of raw sewerage is now a common occurrence. It is completely unacceptable that massive and persistent sewer leaks have been the daily reality of residents in the area. This issue should be a top priority for the ANC-led coalition government, as it impacts negatively on residents’ lives, particularly during the current Covid-19 pandemic.

Of greater concern, is the lack of foresight and planning by the municipality in anticipation of the increased pressures caused by in-migration into the city. The primary issue is the existing sewer line, which is old and severely perforated and thus resulting in raw sewerage seeping into the wetlands, causing a severe stench and environmental damage. The entire sewer system is also compromised owing to the frail and aging sewer infrastructure.

The entire sewerage system needs upgrading and replacing to accommodate the changing and growing developments of the area. However, the ANC-led City of Ekurhuleni lacks any sort of will to change and rectify this urgent matter. Instead, they choose to ignore residents’ pleas to have this resolved and rehabilitate the environment.

As the DA in Ekurhuleni, we demand that the MMC for Water, Sanitation and Energy, Cllr. Tiisetso Nketle, takes immediate action to rectify the continual overflow of raw sewerage in Ward 73, to ensure that the health risks facing the residents are averted.

Furthermore, the ANC and its coalition partners must address the collapsing sewer infrastructure in Ward 73, and provide comprehensive action plans on how this health-threatening issue will be solved.

It is completely unacceptable that the ANC and its coalition partners cannot provide basic services to rate-paying residents in the City. As the DA, we will continue to put pressure on the failing CoE to ensure that the rate-paying residents of Ward 73 receive the services they deserve.

#Time4Change

*ANC Coalition Partners: African Independent Congress (AIC), Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), Patriotic Alliance (PA) and Independent Ratepayers Association of South Africa (IRASA)

Cllr. Sinethemba Matiwane

DA Councillor in Ward 73, Ekurhuleni

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