DA calls for action to address Matlosana sewage crisis

Issued by Cllr Paseka Molutsi – DA Councillor: City of Matlosana Local Municipality
22 Feb 2024 in Press Statements

Note to Broadcasters: Please find linked soundbites in English and Setswana by Cllr Paseka Molutsi.

The DA in the City of Matlosana Local Municipality has written to the Municipal Manager, Lesego Seametso, to urgently address the collapse of sewerage infrastructure in Wards 31 and 32 which for years have caused raw sewage to flow onto streets and into people’s homes. See letter here.

The DA conducted an oversight inspection in Wards 31 and 32 after receiving numerous complaints from residents. We were met with dams of raw sewage in the streets and around people’s homes with an unbearable smell. See images here, here, here, and here.

Residents informed us that when they report sewage leaks to the municipality, municipal workers take their time to respond to bring repairs as there are only eight workers available for both Wards 31 and 32. When workers do respond, they only unblock the pipes and never offer a permanent solution to the problem. Municipal workers also show up without the required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), like masks, hand sanitisers and disinfectants, and solely rely on sewer rods to complete their tasks.

It is evident, from our oversight inspection, that the sewerage infrastructure in Wards 31 and 32 is in dire need of repairs and maintenance.

Matlosana struggles to generate revenue and the lack of action to address poor sanitation contributes to the community’s refusal to pay for services.

The DA has on many occasions engaged with the Director of Infrastructure, Mr JJ Pelusa, and proposed solutions to address the sewage crisis in the municipality, but typical of ANC-led governments, these are ignored just like the desperate pleas for help from residents.

We call on the Municipal Manager to urgently bring repairs to the sewerage infrastructure in Wards 31 and 32 and to provide the municipal workers with the necessary PPE to successfully respond to sewage leaks.

The ANC-led municipality is in contravention of the provisions of the Water Service Act and violates the right to sanitation residents are entitled to, and should be held responsible for their crimes.

We will, therefore, file a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to investigate the municipality’s failure to effectively respond to sanitation service delivery needs.