Sewage floods houses

2016-01-27 06:00
EMILY MPETE of the Buitumelo section of Meqheleng near Ficksburg points at the blocked sewage hole. Photo: Tladi Moloi

EMILY MPETE of the Buitumelo section of Meqheleng near Ficksburg points at the blocked sewage hole. Photo: Tladi Moloi

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SEVEN years ago, when a Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) house was officially handed over to Emily Mpete (64) of Buitumelo section of Meqheleng near Ficksburg, she was happy. But little did she know that her happiness would be short-lived. She lives in a pool of sewage together with her three neighbours and, according to her, the situation has been like that for the past six years.

“I don’t know what to do anymore. I never enjoyed living in this house. I have reported the matter to the Setsoto local municipality several times.

“They have tried many times to resolve the problem, but they have never succeeded,” she said.

The grandmother, who lives with her daughter, Refiloe Mbatha (32), and a granddaughter, said she even suggested to the municipality that they should destroy the house and build a better one X but as yet they have not done this.

She says she suspects the houses were built on the sewerage pipes, because they are very aware of when the pipes are blocked.

“We basically live in sh**t. I can’t say it better than that. Because when the pipes block there is sewage water in the bedroom and bathroom.

“The heartbreaking thing is that we have never used the toilet since the house was built,” she said.

During the Express visit to the place the sewage was flowing like a river. Mpete’s water supply was also closed and, according to her, the municipality closed it on Christmas day last year.

“They said they want to see if the problem will continue or not, but look what is happening here. It has never stopped,” she said.

Another one of the affected, Molise Matlanyane, said he is tired of complaining to the municipality.

He said he cannot even extend his house because of the mining hole in his yard.

“I requested them to remove that from of my yard, but they said that wasn’t possible. The living conditions there are inhumane,” he said.

Moroesi Gaba, the communications manager at the Setsoto Local Municipality, said for a long time Meqheleng has had a sewerage problem. She said that on December 4 the Minister for Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, declared the implementation of the bucket eradication project in Meqheleng. The houses affected will be attended to under this project.

“The contractor has been appointed and is already on site. As when we received a formal complaint/report of the blockage, the municipality always sent officials to unblock the sewer and this will continue until the problem is permanently solved through this project of bucket eradication that is currently unfolding,” she said

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