Piet Retief Municipality - Service delivery

Our town’s walkways, street corners, storm-water drains and roads are in a dilapidated state!

Pedestrians now walk in the road as they are not able to walk on the pavements or walkways any longer. It is completely overgrown with grass and other vegetation.

This is very dangerous for the pedestrians as well as motorists who might not see the person in the road. People often also prefer to rather walk in the road than risk walking through the long grass – you never know what might be hiding in there!

From snakes, condoms and even broken glass bottles – it is unsafe, unhealthy and a sight for sore eyes! At traffic lights, the grass is growing through the paved surface. The storm-water drains are damaged, broken and the perfect hiding place for stray animals. Not to mention the heaps of rubbish that is being thrown down them.

This becomes clear when it starts to rain and one can see how much rubbish is flushed out of these drains. In turn, the rubbish inside is preventing the much needed water to flow through and end up where it should – in our rivers or waterstreams. Instead, the rainwater now only streams down the road and puddles together on the roads.

This in turn, causes the road surface, which is already in a terrible state, to deteriorate even further. Potholes that were previously filled with all kinds of material, such as cement mixed with sandstone, are now only deeper and even wider than before. On numerous occasions, municipal workers are spotted as they are busy cleaning up the town.

Some days you might see them as they are cutting grass in a park or the side skirts of a road and on other days they will be busy filling a pothole or two. This is much appreciated, but it seems that not enough is being accomplished.

Why not take a whole section, for example the whole area surrounding Kotze – , Kruger – and Church Street, per day and clean everything. Appoint the relevant departments to work on one section at a time and keep it maintained on a regular basis. While some workers are cutting the grass on the pavements, a few can repair and clean the stormwater drains while others can repair that specific area’s potholes.

People would most definitely not complain if a section of a road is closed off for a short period of time so that service delivery could be done, instead, everyone would be thankful and at the end of the day, our town will be in a tip-top condition again!

Blocked sewerage system contaminates rivers

This is completely unacceptable and of major concern! According to Mr N. Khumalo, a concerned resident in the Amsterdam area, sewerage from a manhole has been overflowing into the Ithole River, which connects with the Ingwempisi River and this is creating a serious health hazard.

The sewerage drain is situated between Frans’ Extension 2 and 4, in Amsterdam. The concerned resident also said that this is an ongoing problem. Every time the sewer pipes get blocked and the sewerage overflows out of the manhole, it gets reported to the municipality.

Blocked seweragesystem contaminates rivers
A blocked sewer drain in the Amsterdam area is overflowing and the sewerage is running into a nearby river, Ithole, which connects with the Ingwempi

It has also been reported to the Inkomati Usuthu Catchment Management Agency during November and December 2018, according to Mr N. Khumalo, of Amsterdam. It will be catastrophic if children, more animals or anyone residing in the area also become ill due to this being their only source of water.

The Excelsior News reported the matter to the Inkomati Usuthu Catchment Management Agency and the Mkhondo Local Municipality again on Tuesday, 26 February 2019 and at time of publication, feedback was pending. This is a very serious problem that cannot be overlooked. People’s lives and those of their livestock are in serious danger.

Once the contaminated water spreads through the rivers and further down the streams, this problem might become one that cannot easily be rectified. The responsible departments need to act immediately.

A resident of Amsterdam complained about a blocked sewerage drain system which flowed into rivers surrounding Amsterdam. The Excelsior News investigated the matter and forwarded the complaint to the Communications Department of the Mkhondo Local Municipality as well as to a representative of the Inkomati Usuthu Catchment Management Agency on Tuesday, 26 February. On the following day, Wednesday, 27 February, Mr Khumalo, of Amsterdam informed the Excelsior News that the relevant departments swiftly responded to the complaint and opened the blocked sewer drain system.

On Tuesday, 5 March, we were informed that the sewerage drain is blocked again – worse than before! Another complaint has been forwarded to the relevant departments and feedback is pending.