Local attorney Vhutshilo Phuravhathu shows the river of raw, stinking sewage, left uncovered by the Vhembe District Municipality, that floats down streets in Eltivillas.
Date: 14 May 2021 By: Kaizer Nengovhela
The stench of raw faeces, mixed with the sound of swarms of mosquitoes, greets one when entering Roshni and Bengal Street in Eltivillas in Louis Trichardt. After more than a decade, the problem with the dysfunctional sewerage system has still not been resolved and residents have had enough of living with this ever-present stink.
Wastewater that flooded an entire street a while ago now merely flows down a trench along Roshni and Bengal Street. Mr Rendani Mudau, a resident in this area, said that he had contacted the municipality about the problem on many occasions, but the problem never got resolved. When the municipality does come out to unblock one part of the sewerage system, another part blocks up again and spews the stinking water into yards and streets.
In the mornings and afternoons, children can be seen playing in the smelly streets, even though parents and guardians warn them to stay indoors. “Children will always be children; they sneak out to play outdoors, and we are afraid they might catch dreadful diseases from this raw sewage,” he said. “It seems as if the municipality doesn’t care about our health, and our health is at risk now. I can’t even open the windows because of this terrible smell. My children cannot play outside because of human waste floating down the streets!” he said indignantly.
Mudau said that when they had voted five years ago, they had expected positive changes, hoping that the candidates they had voted for would work for the people. He said that the people they had voted for were merely sitting in their offices and not caring about community service. “We are not going to vote in the coming election,” he said.
Local attorney Vhutshilo Phuravhathu, who also resides in that area, feels something drastic should be done about the municipality for putting residents’ health at risk. “No, there are people living here. This is rubbish!” he exclaimed. He said that residents planned on taking legal action against the municipality. “The sewage attracts flies and mosquitoes. It’s even worse when it rains. When cars drive past, sewage water splashes onto our kids playing outside, so they’re kept indoors as much as possible. It’s unacceptable,” Phuravhathu said.
The spokesperson for the Vhembe District Municipality, Mr Matodzi Ralushai, said he was aware of the problems and their technical department would address the problems soon.
Kaizer Nengovhela started writing stories for Limpopo Mirror more than a decade ago, in 2 000. Prior to that he had a five year stint at Phala-Phala FM as sports presenter. In 2005 Kaizer received an award from the province's premier as Best Sports Presenter. The same year he was also nominated as Best Sports Reporter by the Makhado Municipality. Kaizer was awarded the Mathatha Tsedu award in 2014.