Over the past few weeks, complaints about sewer and water leaks have poured in from residents whose houses were being damaged and roads flooded, but claim there has been no response from eThekwini Municipality.
This was despite the municipality having recently employed about 60 Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans on a higher pay grade than ordinary employees, and whose duties included fixing water leaks.
Residents described “frustrating” experiences with the municipality.
Business owners and workers in Riverhorse Valley were angry that the municipality had not attended to their numerous complaints of a leaking sewage pipeline.
The pipeline leak runs for approximately 300m past the traffic lights at the intersection of Effingham and Prince Mhlangane roads.
Janine Willmers, who works in the area said: “The smell is disgusting and has escalated to a constant stream across the road.
“I first reported this sewer leak in April through the municipality’s WhatsApp helpline. I did not get any response.
“I followed up with the WhatsApp by re-reporting the same issue every second week. I was once told it was being taken care of.
“I have to drive through the messy road twice a day – which means my car gets splashed with effluent twice a day. There are numerous folk who walk this road to and from work,” she said.
Vincent Mngadi of KwaMashu’s E section said his house was flooded with sewage as a result of a blockage that he reported two months ago.
He said he begged the municipality to respond promptly.
Mngadi was concerned that further damage could occur to his house as his yard was drenched and the smell was unbearable.
Residents of Shillong Road in Merebank said they have been having issues with a sewer leak since the beginning of June.
Mooseena Shaik said it was suspected that a large blockage in the main sewer line was the cause of the overflow. The sewer was overflowing non-stop onto the road.
“Many of us from this neighbourhood have lodged complaints about the same problem, but there is no action being taken,” he said.
In Bellair Road, Mayville, the city has battled for years to repair the main sewer line. It has led to many violent protests.
Responding to Citywatch questions, municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said the complaints mentioned were receiving attention.
“It should be resolved soon.
“As a caring city, we have a dedicated staff who strive to provide superior service to all city residents. The complaints will be investigated to determine the cause of the delay,” he said.
Mayisela was unable to confirm the turnaround time in having the water or sewer pipe leaks repaired.
“At times, different teams are sent to attend to the leak. Inaccurate information relating to the type of leak being reported results in incorrect teams being dispatched to attend to the problem, only to find that a different team or less manpower is required to attend to the leak.
“But having more staff has improved the city’s response on sewer and water leaks,” he said.