Stinking mess at Dube Hostels

By Drum Digital
29 September 2016

Residents at the Dube Hostels in Soweto have been overcome by the rancid smell and pollution from outdated and damaged sewerage pipes

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Johannesburg Water conducted an onsite visit on Tuesday following complaints by residents that they are being ignored.

The hostels were constructed during the apartheid era and have not upgraded ever since. In 2015 Dube hostel residence protested against poor service delivery and the installation of pre-paid electricity meters.

Dube Hostels also have challenges with leaking roofs, non-functioning toilets and illegal electrical connections.

In 2008, the City of Johannesburg established the Hostel Eradication Programme which aimed at tearing down hostels making way for the development of better housing for residents. However, nothing has changed since.

Today, residents are concerned about the diseases like Hepatitis A and diarrhoea they can pick up as a result of the sewerage disaster.

Tidimalo Chuene, spokesperson for Johannesburg Water, tells DRUM that they are only responsible for carrying out repairs and maintenance activities on infrastructure which exists outside of erf boundaries.

Currently, the hostels and their maintenance fall under the Department of Housing in the City.

“Johannesburg Water and representatives of residents are looking into a possible partnership in guarding against vandalism and theft of some parts of our infrastructure,” she says.

“We are also looking at models of extending our public education programme to hostel dwellers. The programme is on water-saving tips and how to help care for the sewer network to avoid spillage and pipe bursts.”

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