Residents complain that raw sewage often spills out into the streets from under manholes and suspect that blocked underground pipes are to blame.
Sakhi Ngomane’s house is close to one manhole and spoke to OurHealth about what it is like to live with the near-constant stench.
“I have been staying here for more than seven years,” she told OurHealth. “We have had to bear the smell for so many years.”
“I’m also worried about my children and grandchildren because they usually play there and I’m worried that they will get ill,” she added.
Ntokozo Nkosi shares Ngomane’s concerns and says she remains vigilent to ensure her children stay away from polluted water.
“I’m also worried about my children and grand children because they usually play there and I’m worried that they will get ill,” she said.
Coming in contact with raw sewage puts people at risk of contracting a number of illnesses, many of which cause severe diarrhea and pose particular dangers to young children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.
Ngomane has reported the issue many times to the ward councillor. While residents say the municipality sends people to fix the pipes, they continue to leak sewage.
Ward Councillor Lulu Msezane confirmed that she had also received complaints from residents and had reported the matter to the Msukaligwa Municipality.
“I always report the matter to the municipal office and a week after it gets fixed, I will get another complain from the residents,” she told OurHealth.
Msezane said that engineers had confirmed the problem was with underground pipes, which needed to be replaced with larger pipes, but could not confirm when new pipes will be installed.
Msukaligwa Municipality Spokesperson Mandla Zwane could not be reached for comment.