No rest for the retired

Thulani Gqirana

SOMERSON Village residents whose homes face the Summerstrand Total garage are so fed up with the constant noise and pollution from the premises they have undertaken to do everything in their power to shut it down if nothing changes.

Retired residents said they had not had a decent night's sleep since the sound-proofing fell off the refrigeration units at the garage.

They said they stayed up every night listening to its constant buzzing.

Admiralty Way Total Garage owner Christo Coetzee could not be reached for comment and did not respond to numerous messages left since last Tuesday.

Dianne Horwitz, 55, who is staying with her mother, Valda, 83, at the premises, said they also had to deal with flies and mosquitos from garbage piled up against the boundary wall.

Valda, who moved into the village nine years ago, said the problem with the refrigeration unit noise started in about 2008 when they were moved from the floor and attached to the wall.

"The municipality at that time came out to investigate and ordered the garage to soundproof the units, which they did.

"Now the soundproofing has fallen off and the noise is back. But when the municipality came out last week they said there was nothing wrong," Valda said.

Linda Nel, 66, said the noise and pollution levels from the garage were so bad that she had to keep her windows closed all the time in order to get any peace and quiet.

"This is a residential area. It's too much. How do they get away with this? We cannot live like this.

"We cannot even sell our properties if we wanted to because the standard of living here is so bad, and it is all because of the garage."

The residents said they had approached the Total garage dealer to ask him to consider his neighbours, but to no avail.

Horwitz said it had got so bad she had put up a ladder on the boundary wall so she could climb up when needed and shout across to the garage.

"Sometime last week it was so bad that I got up at night and went to ask them to please turn the machine off. They switched it off in front of me, but by the time I got home again, it was back on."

The fed-up women said their quality of life had been affected a lot by the garage.

Nel, who has lived in the village for two years, said they just wanted someone to be accountable.

"The garage cannot keep doing this to us. They cannot keep moving rubbish to our wall.

"Do they think we are all deaf and dumb?"

Municipal spokesman Mthubanzi Mniki said they would send public health officials to inspect the site.

"It is then that we will be able to ascertain the actions or steps we will take," he said.