Khayelitsha residents on City's plan to fix sewerage system: 'It's a political gimmick'

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(File, Teboho Setena)
(File, Teboho Setena)
  • Residents of Khayelitsha have questioned the motivation of the City's plans to fix sewerage infrastructure.
  • The City’s water and sanitation department says it is planning to upgrade various sections in the area.
  • The reconstruction of the Site B pump station is estimated at about R6 million.

Residents of Khayelitsha say the City of Cape Town's plans to fix sewerage infrastructure is a "political gimmick".

On Wednesday, the City's water and sanitation department said it is planning to upgrade various sections of sewerage infrastructure in Site B and Site C over the next two financial years.

However,  the Khayelitsha Development Forum (KDF) believes the City's timing of this intervention is questionable.

"The sewerage system in Khayelitsha is pathetic," KDF chairperson Ndithin Tyhido told News24.

"People have been living in these poor conditions for years, with faeces leaking from every drain.

Tyhido said:

Why is the City only making these plans now when elections are coming up? It's a political gimmick.

He said if the City had introduced these plans during the time when people needed it the most, such as during Level 5 lockdown, they wouldn't be questioning their intentions.

Mayor Dan Plato said the upgrading of the sewerage infrastructure in Site B and Site C "was aimed at providing additional capacity within the sewerage network for Site C residents, who have been given subsidies to formalise and expand their properties".

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Since the beginning of the year, approximately 1 508 sewer blockages and overflows have been cleared in the Khayelitsha area.

According to the City, the cases in Site C and Site B resulted from the combined impact of the misuse of the sewerage system and the severely vandalised Site B pump station.

Tyhido said they wouldn't oppose the upgrades, but he wished the City had communicated with the community about their plans.

Common causes of blockages include rags, nappies, tampons and sanitary pads, wet wipes, condoms, general litter, building materials and the build-up of cooking fat or oil. (Supplied)

"It would be ideal for a people-centred government to communicate, engage and educate the public about littering and keeping the drains clear.

"But none of that has happened so far," Tyhido added.

The reconstruction of the Site B pump station was estimated to cost about R6 million.

The City's teams have already started clearing sewer blockages and overflows, during which they were accompanied by law enforcement. 

"Work on Thursday, 6 May 2021, was postponed due to protest action in the area, but new arrangements were made, based on law enforcement's availability," said Mayco member for water and waste, Xanthea Limberg.


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