Residents in Jan Kempdorp endure sewage flow in their homes

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Residents of location six-o-four in Jan Kempdorp, Northern Cape, have raised concerns about sewage spillage flowing into their homes.

The affected community members claim they have been grappling with this issue since they moved into the newly constructed RDP houses in 2010. They assert that the overwhelming stench and spillages pose health risks.

Owning a home has become a daily ordeal for recipients of RDP houses in Jan Kempdorp. The community, which moved into their houses some 14 years ago, contend that they face raw sewage daily.

They blame the Phokwane Municipality for neglecting to conduct proper assessments after the construction of their homes, alleging that the contractor failed to adequately address sanitation needs. This has resulted in an inhumane living situation, with sewage surrounding the new homes.

Rosey Kehuiltlhetse, 66, resides in a yard where all human waste flows. The pensioner expresses frustration, stating, “Not everyone can live with that sewage smell that is why I say I am heartbroken by this, every day and every night I struggle.”

Residents claim they have reported the issue to the municipality without resolution. Some unable to endure the stench have abandoned their homes and relocated.

Resident Maria Maxambela laments, “Our chests get affected, even our children get chest conditions, this sewage even enters my home. The smell is all over the house, you can’t even eat in such a state.”

The Phokwane Municipality attributes the persistent problem to aging infrastructure.

Kgalalelo Letshabo, the municipality’s spokesperson, explains, “There are three projects currently under way in the area. The municipality is busy with a bulk sewer project to upgrade and install a new sewer outfall line to address the current situation and also the upgrading and refurbishment of sewer pump station.”

The municipality indicates that the ongoing projects aimed at resolving the sewage challenges are expected to conclude in September. In the meantime, residents at location six-o-four (new homes) must endure the odor until a permanent solution is implemented.

Over 60% of South Africa’s sewage and wastewater treatment works in a “poor to critical” state

Story by: Karabo Siyoko