The sewer line running from Motherwell to the Fish Water Flats Waste Water Treatment Works has now “popped” for the ninth time since October last year and sewage has been pouring into the Markman canal for over the last two weeks! Even some of the previously repaired breakages are now leaking again.
Although my heart is crying out for the suffering of our beautiful Swartkops estuary, where this mess runs into, we need to turn our attention to a community of people who are suffering daily due to the disgusting conditions. The Aloes community lives downstream next to the canal and must endure the unbearable stench day in and day out.
The children cannot even cross the “river” of sewage any longer to go to play in their play park. A 70-year-old woman who has been living there for more than 50 years said the current conditions were some of the worst they ever experienced, and that residents were suffering from skin problems and gastro-enteritis.
Their closest clinic is in Wells Estate and they do not have the money to take a taxi.
Her suggestion was that the municipality put in a larger pipe that runs underground. Surely after nine infrastructure failures on the same pipeline the red lights should be flashing and efforts be made to replace the whole pipe with a new one?
I again plead with the city manager to intervene and declare the Swartkops River a disaster area until the huge pollution problem has been sorted out. I will not stop fighting until the Swartkops River is returned to its former glory.
It is the right of everyone in this country to live in an environment that is not harmful to their health or well being!
– DA councillor Breda Matthee, member of public health standing committee, NMBM