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Bekkersdal hostel dwellers threaten to boycott elections

Hostel dwellers in Bekkersdal Township south of Johannesburg are threatening to boycott local government elections if their sewage problem does not get fixed.

 

They say sewage has been flowing into their rooms for two years.

The sewage is raw, stagnant and poses health risks.

Thirty eight-year-old mother of two Seipati Raditomoso is among those bearing the brunt.

“The sewage water affects the wall. I always have to put the plant against the wall, in order for my bed and blankets not to get drenched. The water also emerges from underneath the bed on the floor”

Residents are running out of patience.

“Our children eat food mixed with the stench. It’s frustrating because we can’t see why we are voting,” says a resident.

“This leakage won’t be fixed unless officials come in the hostel because this is where the problem is,” says another resident.

Sixty-year-old pensioner Nobambo Somtshazo stays with two grandchildren in the area.

“Having seen a doctor, I was told that I have TB because of this sewage. I feel no one cares about us. All they want is for us to vote.”

The local municipality has attributed this to old infrastructure.

“Partly it’s because the infrastructure is old however it doesn’t say we cannot constantly maintain it. Even though we maintain it, it becomes too expensive rather than replace the whole system and ensure that there is a proper sewer system in the area” says Godfrey Moutloali of the Westonaria Local Municipality.

Municipal officials say they have prioritised residents’ concerns and will resolve the issue by the end of this week.

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