Raw sewage, an environmental hazard to residents of Mashishing

Democratic Alliance Press Statement by:

Farhad Essack, MP:

A sewerage “swimming pool” at the entrance of extension 2 in Mashishing (Lydenburg) has residents up in arms, threatening to take matters into their own hands.

This pool of raw sewerage has, for the past four years, been leaking into the Dorp’s river which flows throughout the town.

According to DA MP, Farhad Essack, for a very long time – the Mega Housing Group, which is a division of the Mpumalanga government, promised to build a new sewerage pump. But Mega Housing Group has since run bankrupt – and for four to five years now the huge excavation, that took place for the so called sewerage pump has been left unattended directly opposite a kindergarten, shops and in a predominantly residential area.

Raw sewerage continues to flow into the Dorps River unabatedly. I have personally taken this matter up when I was a councillor at Thaba Chweu local municipality (TCM) and have also taken the matter up with the Technical division. But unfortunately, what is so synonymous with TCM, every time I go there, I am forced to speak to a different individual because the previous guy has either been transferred, left or fired.

The Municipal Manager, the Mayor and the entire municipality is well aware of this environmental health hazard, which is causing huge problem further exacerbated by the rain.

Essack said that residents in extension 2 have to contempt with the stench entering into a residential area with raw sewerage.

This municipality has failed for the last four years to do what is in its duty in terms of providing basic services, in terms of the environmental act, in terms of health hazards. It is the municipality’s duty, like it is its duty to take care of the roads, the dumpsite and electricity to see to this issue.

TCM has failed this town and its residents. I personally plan to table this issue at COGTA, at the national council of provinces where we would expect TCM to answer directly to national government, bypassing provincial government, who has been absolutely non-productive and non-proactive.

Not only is the stench overwhelming, the gates to these premises, despite labelled with a no-entry sign, were simply closed with some wire. This is the same spot where a foetus was dumped after an illegal and late abortion was performed in November last year.

There were not one, but two day-care centres opposite the excavation. What is even more alarming is that children could gain access to the deep excavation within seconds with the probability of falling into the sewerage dam.