Leaking pipes and dumping irk residents

These portable toilets are cleared of waste regularly, but a stench remains, say residents.

Residents of the decades-old council cottages near Disa Primary School fear a burst water pipe is creating a health hazard.

And portable toilets used by shack dwellers around the cottages are exacerbating the problem, while illegal dumping is also rife, they say.

Cottage residents Cornelia Afrikaner and her neighbour, Diane Matthews, say they have seen Imizamo Yethu grow around them over the years. When shacks were first built in front of the cottages a few years ago, they say the municipality assured them it was a temporary solution and the shack dwellers would be there not more than six months.

While Ms Afrikaner and Ms Matthews have no issues with their neighbours, they are concerned about the portable toilets, which, despite being regularly emptied, remain filthy and attract flies.

Chief among their concerns, however, is a burst water pipe at the back of the cottages.

“The pipe burst in early 2016. Twice we have had the municipality come out to attend to it, but water keeps running as you can see,” said Ms Afrikaner, who is asthmatic. “It attracts all the miggies, and it is not good for asthmatics. It is a health hazard, not only to my family but also to all the children in the area.”

The community has used pieces of wood and other items to stem the flow of water, but to little avail.

“We are in a drought, and so much water is being wasted as well. It is running all the time. It’s such a waste of water,” said Ms Afrikaner.

“I have tried to call the municipality again, but I am constantly being put on hold. I’m spending a lot of money on airtime trying to get this situation resolved.”

The two residents are also concerned about an area behind the cottages where people are dumping illegally.

“We have found all sorts of things there, including dead cats and animal carcasses after animals have been slaughtered for traditional ceremonies. It is completely unhygienic,” Ms Matthews said.

City spokeswoman Tarryn Rinkwest said various departments were looking into the Sentinel’s queries on this matter and would respond at a later time.