WATCH | Cape Town mayor Dan Plato visits family of two-year-old who died in open drain

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  • On Sunday, two-year-old Imthandile Mbadamane died after falling into a sewage drain.
  • Cape Town mayor Dan Plato visited the family on Monday to convey his condolences. 
  • Police say the circumstances surrounding the incident are currently being investigated. 

Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato has visited the family of two-year-old Imthandile Mbadamane  who died after falling into a sewage drain on Sunday afternoon in Green Point, Khayelitsha. 

Imthandile was playing with other children in his street when he fell into the open drain. Plato conveyed his condolences to the family on Monday. 

"I say to the family my deepest sympathy for the passing of your son. It is a very tragic incident but I am here on behalf of the City of Cape Town to say we regret the incident that occurred," Plato told the family. 

He also offered assistance to the family. 

"We know that it will not bring back the boy. We pray that he is in a much better place," Plato said.

Imthandile Mbadamane fell into a sewage drain and
Imthandile Mbadamane fell into a sewage drain and died on Sunday
News24 supplied

Imthandile's uncle  Nkosikhona Swaartbooi said the drain has been left open by the City for quite some time. 

"On Sunday 29 August 2021 around 12am my two-year-old nephew drowned and died in a sewage drain in Khayelitsha, Greenpoint after being discovered by his mom as she had been looking for him around the house. The drain is right outside my family home. It has been left open by the City of Cape Town for a while now."

Swaartbooi, who is a social justice advocate has been raising the issue of numerous drains reported in and around Khayelitsha that were either blocked or had no lids.

READ MORE | 'It's a terrible situation' - Khayelitsha residents raise health concerns after floods wreak havoc

"Imthandile was not the first child to drown in that drain but is, unfortunately, the first one to die as a result of the City of Cape Town's negligence in failing to fix broken, blocked, and overflowing drains in poor working-class communities. Despite the numerous endeavors of Greenpoint residents repeatedly asking the municipal trucks to fix operating in the area to fix and cover this drain, the City of Cape Town continued to ignore those requests," he said. 

Two year old Imthandile Mbadamane died in a sewage
Two year old Imthandile Mbadamane died in a sewage drain on Sunday in Khayelitsha
News24 supplied

The City's mayoral committee member for water and waste services Xanthea Limberg had also met with the family with Plato to convey their condolences. 

"The family were advised that assistance with [the] burial cost is available to them. Each month on average the City replaces 300 drain covers across the metro.

READ | 'I heard my wife shouting for our baby': Eastern Cape man recalls horror crash that killed 30

"The City replaces stolen and broken cast-iron manhole covers with ones made of polymer plastic as the material has little to no scrap value. However, this has not proven a sufficient deterrent, as these too are often removed. Mayor Plato condemned the theft and vandalism of city infrastructure as it has real and serious consequences for communities."

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi said the circumstances surrounding the incident were currently being investigated. 

"According to reports the body of a two-year-old boy was discovered in a drain as it is believed that the toddler fell into it. The victim was declared deceased on the scene. The body has been sent for an autopsy to determine the cause of death. Khayelitsha police registered an inquest for further investigation."

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