living with human waste
Residents of Ivory Park in Tembisa have been living with flowing sewerage at their doorsteps for months - and it appears municipal officials are now sick of their stinking complaints.
"I have personally called every day for days, and they mostly ignore me. When we eat, we have to close the door," says a Pretty Ndlovu, who lives three metres from the surging mess.
"When the municipal employees do come, they repair the pipes under the manhole, but that same evening, or the next morning, we are back to square one," she said.
Residents say the situation had been going on for the past six months.
Ndlovu's sister, Vivian, also lives a few metres from the stinking mess. She has a three-year- old child. "I must always keep an eye on him to make sure he does not play around there," she says.
On the main street into Ivory Park is another sewerage leak that residents say has also been there for months.
Yesterday, Sowetan found officials of the Johannesburg Water Agency digging a trench to divert the rubbish "so that it does not damage the road further", said an official who refused to be named.
"We are not here for this mess. Our concern is that the road is getting damaged," he said.
Thabang Ntimane, who lives nearby, said: "When people further up flush their toilet systems, the sewage bubbles here and flows into the street and yards.
"We can't eat," he said.
Johannesburg Water Agency spokesman Baldwin Matsimela said: "We will investigate this problem and take appropriate action. There might be a problem at informal areas, where people build their structures on top of municipal pipes. We also have a problem of people flushing big objects that block the pipes."
City of Johannesburg Ivory Park ward 79 councillor Petros Zitha said: "That situation is not on for human beings, and I have raised this at the city council a number of times."