Sewage gushes out of drain in Khayelitsha

Shack dwellers say City of Cape Town is slow to respond to complaints

| By

Dirty water gushing from a drain has pooled in the road between Taliban and Dubai informal settlements in Khayelitsha. Photo: Vincent Lali

Sewage gushing from a damaged drain has collected in filthy pools on a main road between Taliban and Dubai informal settlements in Harare, Khayelitsha. Shack dwellers say they have reported the problem several times but the City of Cape Town has been slow to respond.

The dirty, smelly water has pooled along the street, making it difficult for residents to enter their houses.

Ntsikelelo Mthalane, a community leader and ward councillor Anele Gabhuza’s personal assistant, said rubbish collection had also been disrupted by the water.

Rubbish was rotting in the container in the street because cleaners could not reach it through the water, he said. “Now the cleaners place rubbish bags next to the road for the waste management truck to take away, but waste pickers and dogs tear the bags up and scatter the rubbish around before the truck arrives.”

Mthalane said: “We have reported the damaged drains several times to the City. We are still waiting for City workers to come and fix them.”

Thobeka Mfenyana, who lives with her young daughter and son, said the smell from the sewage and the rubbish container was disgusting. “When I arrived here in January, the drains were already broken. Residents who settled here before me say they break down all the time.”

Mpumi Mhlalisi, a coordinator for the Western Cape Water Caucus, said the filthy water gushing out of the drain was an “environmental disaster that poses health hazards for the residents”.

Mthalane estimated the number of families in Dubai and Taliban at 600.

When we asked the City for comment last week, Mayco Member for Water and Sanitation Zahid Badroodien said the Water and Sanitation Directorate was investigating the problem. He said: “It is very important that residents log a service request for their complaints via the City’s appropriate channels. Residents will then be given a reference number which City officials can use to track the progress of a service request to ensure these issues are dealt with as efficiently as possible.”

But community leader Noxolo Mhlakulwa said she had reported the damaged drain through proper channels and had received a reference number on 9 July.

GroundUp asked the City to comment on this on Tuesday. Spokesperson Luthando Tyhalibongo said on Wednesday: “The City is still looking in to the particulars of the matter.”

TOPICS:  Sanitation

Next:  Cape Town ordered to hold public hearings on sewage being pumped into the sea

Previous:  A deaf woman was gang raped. She has waited more than eight months for a court to get a sign language interpreter

© 2023 GroundUp. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and GroundUp, and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.

We put an invisible pixel in the article so that we can count traffic to republishers. All analytics tools are solely on our servers. We do not give our logs to any third party. Logs are deleted after two weeks. We do not use any IP address identifying information except to count regional traffic. We are solely interested in counting hits, not tracking users. If you republish, please do not delete the invisible pixel.