Raw sewage from broken manholes is flooding the streets of Wells Estate in Port Elizabeth. Residents say the problem started a year ago.
The two streets of Msawawa and Nomvete are the worst affected. Residents say a contractor came to replace one of the affected manholes.
“It didn’t help because the contractor has been excavating for two weeks with no progress,” said Yvette Malgas. The problem started a year ago, she said. “The entire area is a mess. It seems the municipality has no clue how to repair the manholes.”
Malgas’s house, where she lives with her two children, is close to one of the manholes.
She said another contractor had come to drain sewage from the manholes and dump it on a field close to their houses. Part of the field is used as a playground.
Another resident said their pleas to the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality to fix sewer pipes were not being heeded.
Ward 60 councillor Mvuzo Mbelekane attributed the problem to ageing sewer pipes and to residents who dumped objects into the sewer system.
Mbelekane said there is a serious problem with the sewer system, and it’s not confined to just this area, but most of his ward. “I agree that the contractor has taken a long time to deliver,” he said.
He said there was another blockage at the back of the Coega Village, near the N2 freeway. Blankets, vehicle tyres, boulders, logs and other large objects have been retrieved at this manhole.
“These foreign objects are not supposed to be found in our sewer system. This is also exacerbated by the pipes that are old and were not originally designed to block foreign objects,” said Mbelekane.
He said the municipality was replacing the ageing pipes with pipes which blocked foreign objects. He said he hoped to win the “war against illegal dumping”.