Residents despair over stinking sewer leak
Sowetan observes two houses submerged in sewage that had risen to knee-height
RESIDENTS of Bethulie in the Free State have lost hope that the government will rescue them from having daily to inhale the heavy stench coming from a leaking.
They told Sowetan that they had lost count of how many complaints they had made with the Kopanong local municipality about a leaking manhole in their neighbourhood.
Last week the municipality attempted to fix the manhole after Sowetan exposed the situation.
The officials left without fixing it.
During Sowetan's second visit to the area at the weekend the manhole had not yet been fixed.
Two houses, numbered 1332 and 1333, were submerged in sewage that had risen to knee-height.
This time only two houses were flooded and residents claimed that the sewage was "better".
They complained that every week, more than 10 houses were flooded by sewage.
They had placed rocks in their yards to use as steps to their houses.
Thobeka Motubatsi, who lives a street away from where the sewage flows, said the manhole had robbed them of services from the municipality.
"Our street is flooded because of that manhole. The sewage flows into our houses and stops at our street. On April 17, when I went to work, an ambulance could not pick me up at my house because our street was flooded.
"The municipality no longer collects garbage from our houses because their tractor can't access this flooded street," Motubatsi said.
Anna Geld, whose yard contains the leaking manhole, said she had lost count of how many times municipal employees had attempted to fix the manhole, including last week.
"They failed to fix it. I don't know what we must do in order to get it fixed. I know that they will come again and not provide any solution to the problem," Geld said.
Kopanong local municipality mayor Xolile Matwa apologised to the residents and promised that the manhole would be fixed "as soon as possible".
"A tender has been issued and we will appoint a credible company to fix the manhole. Companies we appointed in the past did not have the capacity to fix the manhole," Matwa said. - email@example.com