There will be no funerals until the sewage system is fixed, residents threaten

“We live in a pigsty”

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Photo of an overflowing drain

Residents say this drain on Siwani Street in Peace Village, Kariega, has been overflowing with human waste for months. Photo: Thamsanqa Mbovane

  • Residents of Peace Village, Kariega, say raw sewage has been flowing down Siwani Street for months.
  • They reported the matter but nothing has been done about it.
  • Residents are now threatening to stop all funeral processions until the drain is fixed, a protest method that has worked for them before.
  • ANC election support has plummeted in the ward.

Raw sewage can be seen bubbling up from a drain on Siwani Street in Peace Village, KwaNobuhle, in Kariega, Eastern Cape. Residents say it has been this way for many months and they are fed up. They intend to close all roads leading to Matanzima Cemetery and stop any funeral processions from being held.

This form of protest has worked before when residents wanted Siwani Street paved and when they wanted people moved out of shacks.

“Human excrement has been floating down our streets past our RDP houses and zinc churches for over five months,” said community leader Yoli Tom.

He said the matter had not only been reported to the municipality and a reference number obtained, but also reported to then ward 47 councillor, Nontuthuzelo Skweyiya.

Resident Lwamila Vumazonke-Tayi said she’d have thought the politicians would have at least bothered to fix the drain before the 1 November local government elections. As a result “many people didn’t vote because there is no service delivery in Peace Village”, she said. “We live in a pigsty.”

In ward 47 voter turnout dropped from 61% in 2016 to 44% in the latest municipal election, and the ANC’s support fell from 70% to 54% in the ward.

We first contacted municipal spokesperson Mthubanzi Mniki on 8 September about the overflowing drain and gave the complaint reference number. We made follow-up calls too.

But the drain keeps on bubbling.

Former Mayco Member for Infrastructure and Engineering Thsonono Buyeye said the problem is one of ageing infrastructure all over Nelson Mandela Bay.

“You fix now but in a week’s time, the drains are spewing human waste again. We need to change the infrastructure,” he said.

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TOPICS:  Sanitation

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