Fed up with sewage spills

Sean Arief, of Morgenster, says he can’t use his deck pool because the pump under it gets flooded with sewage.

Morgenster residents who have had their houses and yards flooded with sewage on and off for six months reject the City’s claims that repairs have been hampered by thugs.

“They (the council) haven’t told us anything. They arrive here without the tools and resources to mop up and suck up the muck,” said Morgenster Service Forum chairman Sean Arief.

On Friday January 12, his yard was flooded again, after having it cleared just a week before.

He believes the City does not have the money needed to revamp the area’s old and overused sewers.

Mr Arief said the problem started last year when the main drainage pipe flooded into the vlei, along Swartklip Road, which is next to their homes.

“Since then, when the manhole floods in the road then my backyard and every other house is backed up,” he said.

Community activist Joseph Jacobs, who lives down the road from Mr Arief, said they only saw council workers when they came to clean up.

“We haven’t seen anyone work on the problem proactively,” he said.

Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, said the smell was horrible and that residents had to help each other.

“The sewage has nowhere else to run but into our houses,” she said.

Mayoral committee member for water and sanitation Zahid Badroodien said the municipal depot had unblocked the 450mm sewer line in Swartklip Road, which had collapsed after the dumping of car bumpers, mattresses, televisions and stones.

A contractor had been hired to clear sand that had entered the line after it had ruptured, but that work had been stopped after gangsters had tried to threaten the workers, he said.

“The incident of intimidation was escalated to the City’s safety and security directorate for intervention. This matter has been prioritised and is receiving the necessary attention. The sand-removal operation will continue once it is safe to do so.”

Mr Badroodien said the City would do pipe maintenance to prevent sewage spills, but the public could prevent sewer blockages by putting a strainer in the sink; wiping cooking fats, oil or grease off pans; not flushing nappies and sanitary products down toilets; checking that rainwater gutters do not flow into the sewer system; and using City drop-off facilities for dumping.

The public can anonymously report extortion to 080 000 6992 or  SSIMS.SSIUReporting@capetown.gov.za.