School field still flooded

2015-08-27 09:05
Councillor Glenn McArthur and Mondli Radebe wade through the sports field at Piet Retief Primary School after a burst water pipe turned it into a swamp.

Councillor Glenn McArthur and Mondli Radebe wade through the sports field at Piet Retief Primary School after a burst water pipe turned it into a swamp. (Ian Carbutt)

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PARENTS of children at Piet Retief Primary School have expressed their frustration that the school’s sports ground remains flooded after six months.

The school, in Napierville, said their sports and play grounds have turned into a “swamp” because the municipality has not fixed a burst pipe in Tritonia Road, resulting in water flowing from the road onto the school ground.

Parents said they were notified that no netball or soccer can be played until the grounds are cleared and dried.

“It is quite frustrating not having our children being able to make use of all the facilities the school has to offer. I am worried for my child as the grounds have become like a swamp and that is definitely not healthy for the children,” said parent Denidia Coetzee.

Coetzee said the road over the burst pipe is “breaking away”. She added that the constant rush of water has resulted in the boundary wall of the school collapsing.

“I am honestly surprised no one is taking this seriously. The school and parents have laid multiple complaints with the municipality,” she said.

Another parent, Thokozani Mahlaba, said he is particularly worried about the hot weather approaching.

“The place is like a swamp. What is going to happen when the mosquitoes and other insects start infesting the place? It is getting worse by the day,” said Mahlaba.

He said the younger children in Grade RR classes are close to the area and “that is worrying”.

Mahlaba, who lives next to the school, said the flooded grounds will cause much disturbance to residents who live nearby in the hotter weather.

“It is quite a hectic problem. We have spoken to the admin staff at the school and the ward councillor about it. Maintenance shouldn’t take this long and the municipality is not taking responsibility.”

Ward councillor Glenn McArthur has sent to The Witness a chain of e-mails he sent to the relevant departments in the Msunduzi Municipality.

“The municipal officials seem to be referring it in circles and nobody seems willing to deal with it, much less take ownership. This has been going on for months now without resolve and without feedback as to what and when it is going to be dealt with,” McArthur wrote in his e-mail to the office of the municipal manager.

McArthur asked the municipality if the water is clean, or is sewage water and harmful to the children. He said the field is “visibly under water”.

In a heated e-mail to the municipal manager, Mxolisi Nkosi, McArthur asked: “Does Msunduzi work to time frames as indicated in the Mayor’s Service Charter? The Msunduzi Municipality are seemingly of the opinion that they are not required to do anything about the problem.”

He said the municipality’s attitude about the water that has been wasted for six months “appears to be that it’s ratepayers’ water, so why on earth are you worried?” McArthur wrote.

Msunduzi Municipality acting spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said the leak is “a bit of a challenge to repair”.

She said the contractor who is working on the nearby reservoir has been contracted to re-manufacture the broken pipe under the road as it is “quite aged and there are no spares available”.

“We are building a new reservoir in Napierville, on the hill above the school. During excavation, a leak was discovered which was a bit of challenge to repair.

“Another massive leak was discovered and this was repaired at the end of last week and that should reduce the leak at the school considerably whilst waiting for the final job to be done,” said Madonda.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  water  |  school

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