Raw sewage at shopping centre

2008-09-04 00:00

For close to two days, raw sewage has been spilling out of a blocked manhole in the parking lot at Southgate Spar.

Tenants, shoppers and local residents are angry at the delay in getting the unsightly mess sorted out and say they are sick of the disgusting stench hanging in the air.

Residents have not been able to collect their post from the postboxes in the centre as the boxes are surrounded by a puddle of sewage. Shirley Jessop is expecting important mail from overseas and said if she owned a pair of gumboots she would be prepared to wade through the sludge.

Part of the delay seems to stem from confusion over who is responsible for the mess. When The Witness went to the centre yesterday morning, a manager at Spar said they called a private plumber, who told them it was not a problem emanating from the centre and they should contact the municipality. She said they called twice and got no response.

However, Msunduzi Municipality deputy manager for infrastructure services, Phil Mashoko, said the sewerage department only received this complaint at 11.50 am yesterday. “On receipt of the complaint, a foreman and his team went to site at 12.40 pm and are clearing the blockage.”

He said they ascertained that the blockage was internal, on private land, and was not on council property. He said the municipality will now clear the blockage at a cost to the owners of the property.

“I would like to take this opportunity to request our residents to obtain a reference number whenever they report a sewage blockage, water leak or electricity fault. This is the only way they can be certain their complaint has been captured,” Mashoko said.

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