The Democratic Alliance in the Northern Cape will refer additional information relating to the sewage overflows in Kimberley to the Office of the Public Protector to assist with their ongoing investigation into the sewerage crisis in the city.
This comes after I, together with ward Councillor Cliffie Lewis, conducted oversight inspections of sewage overflows in Homevalley and Roodepan yesterday.
I was physically overcome by the putrid stench of sewage that residents in these areas have had to endure for months on end, due to neglect by an uncaring and failing ANC government.
In Homevalley, residents of Success Street are especially exposed. Philip Van Rensburg, whose house borders on a sewage spill, has suffered aggravated asthma attacks due to the strong fumes that he has to inhale. He was previously hospitalized as a result. Van Rensburg is just one of many residents living in the area who is concerned for the health and wellbeing of himself and his family.
Andries August says that when the sewerage pushes up, his household literally has to climb out of their property. Cecil Baatjies meanwhile, is concerned for the health of his three-month old grandchild. Other residents are anxious that the coming summer heat is going to exacerbate the stink and bring with it toxic flies and mosquitos.
In Roodepan, in Seeduif Street, bubbling drains are also not a new phenomenon. When the sewage pushes up in Basil Kaleb’s house, it comes up through the kitchen sink and the shower.
It is shocking that people have to live with a mass of rotting, green sewage on their doorsteps. It is unthinkable that, that while big portions of roads, private properties and public spaces have become sludge farms, the municipality has done nothing concrete to resolve the issue, other than sometimes pumping out blocked drains and digging temporary trenches.
The living conditions that families are subjected to in these areas are inhumane. The sewerage problem is not just an unpleasantry, instead it is a health hazard and a danger and government can no longer afford to turn a blind eye to it.
Clearly it is not just ad hoc upgrades and maintenance of the sewerage lines that is needed, but an overhaul of the entire sewerage system network in the whole of Kimberley.
The DA will continue to highlight the ongoing and burgeoning sewerage crisis in the city, until such time as it is addressed in a well-planned and comprehensive manner. We also call on the Office of the Public Protector to speed up their investigation into sewerage flows across the city, as this is a time bomb waiting to explode.
Only change under a DA-led government will ensure that bulk sewerage infrastructure receives the necessary attention to ensure that the benefits of infrastructure developments do not go down the toilet.