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Residents knee deep in waste

Vandalism done by illegal miners (zama-zamas) has caused damages in excess of R800 million to the Matjhabeng sewer infrastructure, leaving thousands of residents literally knee deep in sewage.

The functionality of a recently refurbished Witpan Water Waste Treatment Plant was severly affected after massive vandalism to this plant.

The recent blockages at the Witpan, Theronia and T18 treatment plants have caused sewer spillages in several residential areas such as Thabong, St Helena and Bedelia in Welkom.

The municipality has a 30 km line of sewerage network.

“Repair work is done on a regular basis with municipal trucks with special equipment opening the blocked sewerage system following tampering by zama-zamas. The exercise is very costly and deprives citizens resources that could improve service delivery,” said Thabiso Tsoaeli, municipal manager of Matjhabeng.

Bronville experienced power outage for a week following a massive sewer spillage next to the Oppenheimer Park Bridge in Thabong and the theft of copper cables from the electrical substation which feeds the area.

“The sewer spillage was caused by blocked sewerage lines and manholes in the area.

“Infrastructure employees removed large foreign objects such as stones, bricks, tyres, carpets, animal carcasses and sand bags from the sewer line network connecting Oppenheimer Park, Hani Park and Bronville.”

Vandalism to the Bron­ville pump station costs Matjhabeng millions of rands.

Tsoaeli says the municipality will be putting a grid along the Welkom sewer line to prevent the insertion of these foreign objects.

The municipality has reques­ted intervention from the provincial government and the national police ministry in dealing with the situation.

  • The Department of Water and Sanitation has also been roped in to assist with the additional installations at Water Waste Treatment Plants. See the municipal advert on p. 19 for further information.
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