Sewage problems in Melkbosstrand

Melkbosstrand residents say they want a permanent solution to the sewage spills in their neighbourhood.

Frequent sewage spills on the Melkbosstrand beachfront are making life unbearable, say residents.

There have been several spills on the corner of Beach Road and 11th Avenue, they say.

The Melkbosstrand Ratepayers’ Association (MRA) says it has reported the problem several times to the City but not had a response.

“We’ve had no explanation and no comment to date,” said MRA chairwoman Smokie la Grange. “These spills happen specifically at the pump station on that intersection. Whenever there is a power outage, the pumps shut down and within hours, sewage is bubbling up to the brick surface and spilling out onto the road and the beach.

“The department of water and sanitation is usually pretty good and usually arrives as soon as they can when these spills are reported. Unfortunately, the recent spills were on the weekend during the extremely hot weather, and the public were quick to take to social media with valid complaints about the stench.”

Residents believe the spills happen when load shedding shuts down a pump station near the beach.

Some residents, like Gregory Mansfield, believe load shedding is to blame.

“We only have this issue right after load shedding. This tells me that if we didn’t have these power cuts, there would be no reason to have to deal with the terrible smell of these spills. Where is the accountability? It’s all good and well to point the finger at the councillor and the City of Cape Town, but who is really to blame here?”

Jane Kruger said that she had made several calls complaining to the City and logging C3 notifications, but the problem persisted.

“We need permanent solutions,” she said. “This quick-fix thing that they are doing isn’t helping. I’m afraid that this will make people sick especially now that we are in a pandemic. It’s not on.”

Marius Steenekamp said he would remember the sewer spills at the municipal elections.

“We need a shake up in our leaders. I think they have become too comfortable, so we need people in those seats who can take care of our needs. I am tired of having to complain constantly about the same issues. We deserve better, especially because we pay all our rates and taxes. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t get what we pay for,” he said.

Tabletalk sent questions to the ward councillor and the City of Cape Town on Friday, but they did not respond to questions by deadline.