Shop owners incur loss due to Retief Street flooding

2017-06-14 06:01
PHOTO: SUPPLIEDRetief Street in Pietermaritzburg flooded after heavy rains, shop owners operating on the street say this adversely affects their businesses and are calling on the municipality to fix the drainage to prevent further flooding.

PHOTO: SUPPLIEDRetief Street in Pietermaritzburg flooded after heavy rains, shop owners operating on the street say this adversely affects their businesses and are calling on the municipality to fix the drainage to prevent further flooding.

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SHOP owners in Retief Street, Pietermaritzburg­, say their businesses are being adversely affected by the poor road drainage because during heavy rain it floods and the water flows into their shops.

One shop owner, who asked to remain anonymous, said this problem has been going on for more than two years and that it began after smaller drainage pipes were used to replace ones that were damaged when electric cables were laid in the area more than two years ago.

“The last time we had heavy rains the same problem occurred, the street was flooded,” he said.

He said he has reported the matter to the municipality, however, he said all the municipality does is clean the drainage system rather than fix the problem by laying the drainage pipes of the correct size.

Another businessman in Retief Street, Dashwin Vather said he has reported the blockage of the drain to the municipality at least on 15 occasions.

“That excludes every other shop in the area making an attempt to resolve this issue. All that is done is that once the municipality receives our calls, at some stage after the flooding, they come through and drain it. That is merely a temporary fix until it rains again and at that stage we have already incurred all the losses from the flooding,” he said.

He said the flooded water means customers cannot access their shops resulting in their businesses losing financially and that it makes it impossible for cars to park in front of the shops.

“The entire pavement is flooded making it difficult for the customers inside the shop to leave, too,” he said.

He added that whenever the street is flooded suppliers can’t drop off deliveries resulting in them having to reschedule delivery times.

“Pedestrians are forced to walk on the road rather than the pavement which makes it a safety hazard for them as well,” he said.

He said a day after a flooding, a foul stench lingers in the air and the pavement­ is left filthy forcing shop owners to ask their staff to commit their working hours to cleaning the pavements.

“We have lost faith in our municipality and don’t believe the municipality will make any real attempt at to resolve this,” he said.

Msunduzi municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said the matter is being investigated.

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