The office of the Public Protector in the Northern Cape has stepped in to assist communities facing numerous sewage problems in the Kimberley area. The Sol Plaatje municipality has been battling to resolve it for years.

The Public Protector’s office says once it completes investigations and makes recommendations, the municipality will be bound by law to sort out the problem.

Six year old Jaydeson Blom fell and broke his hip while attempting to jump over the flowing sewage. His mother says it has been like this for years, but their complaints have fallen on deaf ears.

She says her son is now facing an uncertain future because of the municipality’s inaction.

“I’m not feeling happy about the whole thing, because my child is now suffering of the pain, and he is walking with crutches… he has got more than 36 stitches he has got screws in templates in,” says Onica Blom.

In other parts of the city, sewage is flowing in backyards and into houses. “There is a number or series of complaints around the issue of sewage blockages, so these allows us as the office to conduct a systemic investigation – and the remedial actions that we’ll be recommending will be able to address those issues – so going forward we’ll conduct a systemic investigation and we’ll be able to produce a report that will come up with our findings and appropriate remedial action so that we can address the issues,” says Northern Cape representative of the Public Protector, Mlungisi Khaya.

The municipality has in the past indicated that a shortage of funds hampered its ability to install new pipelines. It says it has now managed to secure funding.

“We do understand really the plight of the community when it comes to sewer blockages… we have had a few challenges, especially in Galeshewe areas and Roodepan here in Kimberley, which is due to in some instances the caving in of the pipe in a particular area, but we’ve launched a project that will see to it that we are able to build an outflow pipeline from Gogga pump station to Homevale… it is a 3.5 kilometre pipeline, and the project on its own is R35 million,” says Spokesperson for the Sol Plaatjie Municipality, Sello Matsie.

The municipality says the total overhaul of the faulty Gogga pump station causing all the sewage blockages will take about two years to complete.

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