After visiting Roodepan residents in Kimberley, Northern Cape, more than a year ago – Minister of Human Settlements Lindiwe Sisulu promised them their sewage problems will be attended to. However, residents are still subjected to the appalling conditions with sewage flowing into their houses. They are now calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare the suburb a disaster area.
Walking bare foot every day in sewage water is what residents have to endure. With recent rains, their houses have become inaccessible and flooded.
They have tried to bring the problem to the Sol Plaatje Municipality’s attention for years, but nothing has been done. One of the residents Jane Nkosi says all the furniture inside her house is wet, and her son has developed chest problems.
“I can’t go into the house and my furniture is in the house and everything is wet. I am barefoot I don’t have any clothes to wear. We’ve been calling Sol Plaatje Municipality and they don’t come. I have sick child because every time he comes here he has chest problem,” says Nkosi.
Other residents are also frustrated. They are calling on the national government to come and help as the local municipality is doing nothing.
“I’m staying here for the last 10 years, it’s frustrating for these people, the other people around me it’s even more frustrating. They here longer than us we share the pain with them. If it’s not rain, it’s sewerage walking out there,” adds one resident.
“I have 21 years living in this street and from Wednesday morning I have been calling the councilor, the mayor I’ve been calling Gumba he’s said he will come back to me after speaking to Sithole but till today. Today is Friday nobody is coming here from Sol Plaatje Municipality. I am very heartbroken today because…we worked very hard for the staff in our houses nobody is coming to assist us. They don’t even care to send even trucks to pick our staff out of the houses,” says another resident.
The Sol Plaatje Municipality has been to the area many times, and has made promises to the residents that they will try fix the problem. But so far, nothing has been done. Sisulu also promised to pay attention to the matter a year ago, but the promise is still to be fulfilled.