South Africa: Taxis Plough Through Sewage in Port Elizabeth

25 February 2020

A drain has been overflowing on Old Uitenhage Road for six weeks

A drain has been overflowing on Old Uitenhage Road for six weeks according to a resident who lives near it, making life miserable for Missionvale and Smartie Town residents in Port Elizabeth.

Phumzile Zingela says raw sewage flows down the road. "What is even worse, it's even hard to cross the road because this road is very busy and vehicles splash it [sewage] all over the place."

Zingela says for the past four years she has seen the drain fixed from time to time, but the repair never lasts long.

Taxis plough through the stinking water, splashing it all over the place.

"The buses and taxis are making the situation worse. This road is very busy during the peak hour and they spill this sewage into our yards ... We can't even hang up our clothes because of the spillages. We have to ask for the washing lines of other people. Inside my yard there is another drain which is starting to leak sewage because of this blocked main drain," says Hazel Heunis.

"This is disgusting. I don't know why the municipality does not find a lasting solution for this problem," says Joseph Jason, a mechanic. "This road is used by hundreds of taxis, buses and motorists."

Chris Stuurman, a taxi operator, said, "Every day we have to wash our vehicles ... Apart from that there are many potholes now."

In December, PR Councillor Teslin Booysen (DA) said he had received no less than 50 drain complaints. He accused the municipality of taking too long to unblock drains.

Ward Councillor Luyolo Nombola (ANC) said the municipal department of infrastructure and engineering had agreed to find a permanent solution "because our ward has serious infrastructure problems."

"In Sidas area within Missionvale we had a similar situation of drain blockages. We had to change our infrastructure and sewage system."

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality committed itself to fixing its decaying infrastructure in Missionvale and Smartie Town last year.

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