Health risk fears after sewage spill

2015-02-18 00:00

RESIDENTS of Bergville are fearing a health risk as the town has been ­battling for the past weeks with raw sewage in the streets after sewerage pipes burst on two major roads.

Bergville Pre-Primary School ­principal Vicky Honiball earlier said she would have to close down the schools if the area is not cleaned up, as they can not allow the children to be exposed to it.

The Uthukela Municipality ­responded by pumping away the ­sewage with a “honeysucker truck”, but in West Street sewage was still seen floating around yesterday.

People in town believe that the pipe burst because it was not emptied in time.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen because the truck contracted to pump the sewage in town has not been operating since last week,” said Honiball.

It is believed the “honeysucker truck” had been withdrawn by Uthukela District Municipality since, as there were plans to switch from septic tanks to a water bound ­sewerage system that had been under construction since last year.

Honiball and other business ­owners said as far as they know, there has been no progress with the water bound sewerage system since late last year. Instead it left exposed manholes and pipes all over the streets.

According to DA councillor Wendy Goulding, Bergville residents ­previously could book for their septic tanks to be emptied at an office in Okhahlamba municipal building, and the amount was added to their rates account.

“Now that the contract for the honeysucker trucks has ended, they had been asked to pay cash for the service. They received a receipt for the cash, but the truck never arrived.”

The Bergville CBD Business ­Forum said in a statement there has been broken communication ­between them and the municipality.

Uthukela Municipality municipal manager ­Sifiso Kunene could not be reached for comment for the past five days.

• siso.naile@witness.co.za

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