Rietvallei residents’ homes affected by stench of sewage

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Several homes at Rietvallei in Swaneville next to Kagiso just outside the west of Johannesburg have been flooded after a nearby sewage pipe burst causing a dam to overflow.

The recent heavy rains have also contributed to the flooding, pushing the water level further and further into homes.

Residents want urgent government intervention after living with the stench of sewage for three months.

Residents say water levels at a nearby dam have been rising with every rainfall. The inevitable took place in November last year following heavy rains forcing some affected residents to abandon their homes.

Among the worst affected, is a pensioner who has had to break down his neighbour’s wall to leave his house. The 69-year old, Ntswanyane Mgqweba, says he has nowhere to go and no money to rebuild his home elsewhere.

“That water was pushed all the way from the dam, and now it’s come to our houses. Now I’m frustrated because I cannot live in my house, and I am also having difficulty entering and exiting my house,” the pensioner cried out.

Residents marched to the office of the mayor in Mogale City on Thursday to hand over a memorandum of their demands. They claim their attempts to alert the authorities before and after the incident fell on deaf ears.

“The main problem is that the pump station doesn’t work. The sewage problem has been going on for years; nothing is working; toilets don’t flush,” says community leader Gift Mapisa.

The office of the mayor says plans are underway to find a long-term solution.

The city’s mayor, Tyrone Gray, says they have looked into the matter.

“In the proposal following the surveying is that a diversion point will be created to protect those houses,” Gray assures.

The mayor is set to return to the area next week to provide an update.

Video: Rietvallei residents’ homes affected by stench of sewage