Long road to have drain fixed

2018-02-20 06:00
Belisa Rodrigues says the drain is dangerous to pedestrains as well.PHOTOS: Nomzamo Yuku

Belisa Rodrigues says the drain is dangerous to pedestrains as well.PHOTOS: Nomzamo Yuku

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A broken drain cover at the corner of John Street and Durban Road in Mowbray has left residents fuming.

It has been reported that the cover has been broken for six months and the City of Cape Town has allegedly failed to carry out repairs.

Belisa Rodrigues, a community member and a representative of ward 57, says: “I reported this in September last year and I received a reference number a promise that the City would attend to it immediately. I tried to do follow ups but all I got were more reference numbers and the situation continues to deteriorate.

“We are living in a democratic country where we expect our government to treat us with dignity instead of exposing us to social ills.”

She says as much as residents do their bit to create a safer and clean community they still need the authorities to play their role and provide services.

Rodrigues says the drain cover, which is also in front of a reportedly neglected alley, has resulted in rats and attracted criminal elements.

“It does not just pose a health risks to the residents but it also draws criminals into our space because they now take advantage of the drain to hide drugs and stolen items inside it. We do not want these kinds of negativities in our community,” she says.

According to her, the long wait has resulted to concerned residents considering paying out of their own pockets to have the “neglected” alleyway adjacent to the drain, at the back of their houses, cleaned up.

“But we cannot do anything about the drain because it is unlawful to alter any government property. We appeal to the City to do something about it before things could worsen.”

Rodrigues describes the area as “a quiet and unified community”.

She says they are still trying to form a committee that will oversee these kinds of problems and work closely with the local council to create a better space.

She calls on other community members, who are directly and indirectly affected by this, to unify and take step towards improving their community. She says they hope to also form cohesion with businesses and build solid relationships.

Another resident, Simangele Krawe, says the drain has caused lot of frustration for her family because she has children, between the ages of one and eight, who can no longer happily play outside. She urged the City to fix the drain and find solutions of maintaining the alley.

“We are tired of rats running on our windows. They scare the children, please officials, hear our cry and fix these problems.”

A businessman, who did not want to be named, says he decided to clean part of the alleyway that is close to his property as he could not stand the filth anymore.

He says he has spent lots of money to remove remains of stones and old wood that were piled up behind his restaurant.

City officials say the delay was due to a wrongfully lodged complaint. It was found that it was not a sewer drain that was broken but a loose water meter cover.

It is said that inspectors from the City’s Water and Sanitation Department were sent to investigate the reports and they found that the tar around the water meter chamber had been damaged. This was caused by a cable company that had laid cables in the area. According to City officials, there are no leaks in or around the chamber and the damaged tar would be restored soon.

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