Vrygrond fuming on voting day

Residents burnt tyres in Vrygrond in a protest over blocked drains.

While millions of South Africans made their mark on Wednesday May 8 in the country’s sixth democratic general election, Vrygrond residents had to yet again contend with raw sewage flowing down the roads.

The stench filled the air as blocked drains overflowed in Drury Road and sewage water ran down Vrygrond Avenue while voters made the way to the polling station.

This led some disgruntled residents to protest on one of the most important days on the South African calendar.

They said they are fed up with constant blocked drains.

“We have been living in filth for the past three weeks. S#@t and pee run from drains in
Drury Road and it is a horrible sight,” said resident Charles Fourie.

“We are fed up and frustrated because sewage has been spilling onto the streets non-stop. At Capricorn Primary School people are voting but just down the road people’s houses and yards are being flooded with s#!t.

“We are basically voting to get the same poor service delivery year in and year out because nothing is being done to fix
the flooding drains,” said Mr Fourie.

He said several complaints have been logged with the councillor but nothing had come of it by election.

“We phone to the City but they don’t do anything so we decided to burn tyres to get the attention of police and the City because we do not get the attention we need when we need it. On voting day there’s dozens of law enforce-
ment and Metro police cars and officers but we can’t get them to send a truck to fix the problem
of the flooded drains. We are sick of it and we want it to be fixed. Enough is enough,” said Mr Fourie.

Drury Road resident Clive Rhoda’s front yard was filled with faeces and sewage water. A mat spread out in the front yard used by the children to play on was soaked after sewage water from the house drain pushed up and spilled over in the yard.

“This is happening with many houses in Drury Road because there are two drains that always block up and flood. It is sickening. We can’t stand the smell anymore and we have to live with it every day. We cook, clean and the children have to play in such filth. It is unacceptable,” said Mr Rhoda.

Ward 67 councillor Gerry Gordon said she had logged a service complaint.

“We are monitoring the drain issues in Vrygrond and I log-
ged a service complaint myself and a truck was sent out on Wed-
nesday and Thursday. The drains were fixed. It was, however,
blocked up again over the weekend and on Monday May 13 trucks
were once again sent out to
unblock the drains,” said Ms Gordon.

She said the problem of blocked drains will persist until residents stop dumping into the sewer system.

“Animal carcasses, diapers and various other things are found in the drainage system and this is what causes the blockages. Our drainage system is not inadequate, it’s just overloaded and I’m ap-
pealing to people to stop throwing these things down the toilet or in drains as it is causing a major problem,” said Ms Gordon.

In terms of the Wastewater and Industrial Effluent By-law no person may put substances into a municipal sewer that will interf-
ere with the free flow of sewage. Only toilet paper, human waste, and greywater should enter the system.

Muizenberg police spokesperson, Captain Stephen Knapp, said the protest was monitored
but further disruption was avoid-

“There were a few disgruntled residents and tyres were burnt in Drury Road but there was no violence and it was subdued. There are currently still some issues with the sewage but no further protests were reported.”