Residents incensed after shoddy water pipe repairs by City workers

2017-12-15 15:50
Collin Manuel, business owner on James Street, stands next to a trench caused by unfinished repairs to a water pipe.

Collin Manuel, business owner on James Street, stands next to a trench caused by unfinished repairs to a water pipe. (Ian Carbutt )

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Msunduzi Municipality’s repairs to water pipes have once again raised the ire of Pietermaritzburg residents.

This time, shoddy workmanship has been blamed for “trenches” forming in the driveways of two premises, making it hard for vehicles to navigate.

A home in Raisethorpe as well as a business on James Street in the CBD have had part of their driveways dug up so municipal workers could repair leaking pipes.

But workers have not sealed either site, leaving mud and rubble covering the pipes. The rubble has sunk over time, creating a trench in both instances.

Now the owners of both of the affected premises said they have had to pack stones on top of the trenches to be able to get out of their driveways and the municipality has not responded to calls for them to restore the sites.

The owner of the business on James Street, Collin Manuel, said two trucks have got stuck in the deep mud that is covering the pipe there. “I had to get a forklift to pick up one of the trucks to take it out; half the wheel sank inside.”

He alleged that municipal workers left stones and cement at their premises after conducting the repairs and told him to complete the job.

“I phoned the mayor [Themba Njilo] and after that he came out and made a call, but nothing happened.”

The owner of the Raisethorpe home, who asked not to be named, said their problem has persisted for almost two years.

She said: “They gave me a reference number, but to date nothing has been done. The [debris and mud covering the pipe] sank some 20 cm and I have had to pack stones [on the trench] to be able to get out of my driveway.

“I did phone [the City] and was advised that it would be attended to. But nothing has been done.”

She added: “I am at my wit’s end. I don’t know what to do — it has been like this for so long. I had a beautiful driveway before this.”

City spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha did not respond to a detailed query by deadline yesterday.

The Witness has written numerous reports on alleged shoddy workmanship on water pipes by the City in the last few weeks.

In one report, a large hole was formed on the pavement at Langalibalele Street after municipal workers had apparently dug up a pipe and not sealed the site.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  service delivery

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