Residents of a complex in Amanzimtoti are at their wits’ end over the municipality’s failure to sort out an ongoing sewage smell.
Villa Vineta residents in Adams Road said they have contacted eThekwini Municipality on numerous occasions over the past two years to complain about storm damage, as well as the ever-present sewage smell, to no avail.
“We also emailed ward 97 councillor, Andre Beetge who sent back the person’s details at the municipality we have to contact,” said pensioner residents, Senio and Charmaine Lipparoni. “We have four different reference numbers from the municipality. We should have many more but in the beginning we didn’t bother to write them down.”
The Lipparonis also complained to Beetge about the amount of land the complex has lost in the two storms, including the 10 October 2017 one but they were told there is nothing he can do about it, as the onus is on the home owner to protect their property.
The complex borders a river and the residents believe the smell emanates from a sewage drain there. The overflowing river during the storms caused the banks to erode and the complex lost its boundary wall and refuse room.
The water has seriously undermined the supports and guardrail for the road bridge and the Lipparonis fear it could lead to an accident soon.
“For about the last two weeks ago the smell has been terrible. Why is the municipality not doing anything about it? At night you cannot breathe. It is absolutely revolting. We cannot live like this,” said the Lipparonis.
“Is the municipality waiting for someone to get killed first before something is done to repair the bridge? We don’t know what else to do, as we are getting nowhere by complaining to them. Whatever the municipality needs to do to repair the bridge and sort out the sewage problem, they need to do now. There are a lot of pensioners living in the complex and we can’t go on like this.”
The SUN sent queries to eThekwini Municipality to see if the problems could be escalated but no response was forthcoming. Cllr Beetge said he visited the site on Tuesday, 13 March and there was no sewage flowing at Adams Road north of the complex or the opposite end south of the complex. “There are 113 known projects in the greater Durban area related to the storm – some repairs have started and others remain in the pipeline, awaiting letters of award or funding,” said Cllr Beetge.
“The municipality is not necessary responsible for damages incurred during natural disasters, as where it did not result from a failure in infrastructure, it would essentially remain a matter between the resident and their relevant insurance company to resolve. Inability to cope with the water volume is not a failure in infrastructure, as no municipality designs infrastructure in terms of the 50-year flood figures.”
Residents can call the engineering 24-hour call centre on 080-131-3013 or 080-311-1111, or email [email protected] to report storm damage.
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