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Hazardous waste floods Matjhabeng
  • Three weeks of rapidly flowing sewage in Power Road and Seventh Street
  • Angered businessmen and impeded a multimillion development
  • Please to fix the sewage probleme met with shrugs
  • Sewage blamed on Covid
For three weeks residents using Power Road in Welkom had to dodge this mess. The entrance to Seventh Street was inaccessible.Photo: Supplied
Fiskaal Street, which runs next to Toronto Pan where the municipality pumps sewage, is a living nightmare for residents. Photo: Marti Will
This photograph was taken of the road at Witpan leading to the Oppenheimer Golf Club just after the municipal contractor offloaded sewage on Saturday (25/07). Photo: Giovan Theunissen

Three weeks of rapidly flowing sewage in Power Road and Seventh Street has angered businessmen and impeded a multimillion development.

Pleas to the municipality to fix the problem were met with shrugs and excuses that Covid-19 was causing the delays in obtaining the necessary pipes.

Last week the repairs came to a total standstill, and the contractor told businessmen that he did not have the equipment to open the system and insert the pipes.

Ronnie de Andrade, a businessman in Power Road, approached an engineering firm in Seventh Street (who was also affected) to use their equipment.

During this chaos businesses and their clients could not access Seventh Street, and they had to dig a rudimentary pathway. The municipal traffic department said they were not infor- med of the mess, or they would have created a secondary road.

This situation is critical and hazardous to our health

“This situation is critical and hazardous to our health. The overflow from the sewer system was pumped at high pressure into Power Road and diverted into the stormwater system,” De Andrade told Vista.

Jake Jooste, owner of the bakery in Seventh Street, says it has been a very frustrating three weeks.

“The ground works of my development were flooded, and the entire project has been on hold. Now I will have to wait another three weeks for the ground to dry before we can start cleaning and resume the development.”

Jooste says the problem is the main sewer line that transports the sludge from Thabong and the industrial area. The pipes are apparently not the correct diameter, which results in pressurised sewage pushing up through the manholes in Seventh and Eighth Street. Added to this, Seventh Street has been without water for two weeks.

Kgojane Matutle, Matjhabeng manager for Communications, Marketing and Branding, says the material needed to fix the Power Road sewage spillage was delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We however apologise to the affected businesses and citizens for the inconvenience caused.”

Matutle says this matter will be investigated and if the service provider violated the National Environmental Act, appropriate action will be taken.

On Saturday (25/07), Vistaobserved a truck contracted by the municipality to unblock the drains and pipelines, emptying its contents onto the Witpan Road. Matutle says this matter will be investigated and if the service provider violated the National Environmental Act, appropriate action will be taken.

At the beginning of the year Vistareported that the previous contractors were also dumping wastewater sludge into Toronto Pan and open tracts of land in the city.

Supt Bokvel Pietersen of Matjhabeng Safety and Security told Vistathat criminal charges in terms of the Environmental Act had been laid against them and the Green Scorpions were investigating.

In January the municipality began to fix the sewage plant at Theronia Sewage Works (Toronto Pan). Residents told Vista that the actual dumping of sewage by the municipality into the Toronto Pan has dropped considerably.

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