Heavy rains and blocked drains cause downtown flash flood

Irate business owners said they have been complaining to the municipality for two years to sort out problematic drainage but only temporary repairs were carried out.
Gokal Supermarket manager Dashwin Vather says they brought the situation to the city’s attention multiple times but that workers would arrive and only fix small portions of the bigger problem. He said leaving the job incomplete only made matters worse.
“We need permanent solutions that will not backfire when rains falls”, added Vather.
It is believed that the drainage issue lies with a mainline water pipe and an underground pipe that was broken during an electrical installation and not repaired since 2014.
Miss Mode clothing store manager Abdul Ishmael expressed his frustration by displaying a number of reference numbers received from the municipality each time he called to report the problems.
“There has been no follow up, sewage water overflows and sits until it evaporates, the municipality comes and works on site but it just makes the situation worse. They have also inspected the drains and said the problem is an ‘internal blockage’ and therefore cannot be addressed by the municipality. In the meanwhile we have to deal with the stink and the risk of the sewage rising and flowing into our shops,” said the frustrated store manager.
Business owners have now resorted to being resourceful by building pathways and bridge structures with bricks and crates over the sewage in order for customers to still come to their shops. Despite this their businesses are suffering as customers stay away and deliveries hampered by the obstacles.
Municipality spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said the Water and Sanitation unit had been working on the technical problem. She said they were well aware of the negative impact and inconvenience caused to the business owners but they were awaiting technical reports.

  AUTHOR
Bongeka Sibisi

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