Councillors call for improvement in sewer burst response

Bulawayo councillors have called on the Engineering Department to improve its efficiency in responding to sewer bursts and to improve communication with residents.

Councillor Mxolisi Mahlangu said that the department sometimes takes up to two weeks to respond to sewer reports, which creates rifts between residents and councillors. He also complained about the lack of feedback from department directors after reports have been attended to.

“The department delays in responding to burst sewer reports resulting in tension between residents and councillors. As we speak there is a house in Mahatshula that has had a burst sewer for the past 17 days. The waste is coming out through the toilet and bathroom, filling up the bathtub,” he said.

“At another house in the same suburb, there is sewer flowing on the stoep right at the door step for the past week. We have references, which they are swift to give, but they take long to attend to them.”

Ward 10 Clr, Khalazani Ndlovu, suggested that the engineering department collaborates with other councillors and the residents and map the sewer hotspots that need immediate attention.

“We realise that sewer bursts are frequent and even if they fix it they recur. Is it not possible for the relevant committee to sit down with the Engineering Department together with the rest of the councillors and residents and they identify the most persistent hotspots. Especially those that burst immediately after being fixed. Because coming back to the same spot becomes a waste of resources, if there can be permanent solutions it would be better,” she said.

Councillor Sikhululekile Moyo questioned why there is only one car allocated to attend to sewers when the whole city is affected by the challenge.

“We only have one car servicing the sewer department which slows down service delivery. We thought maybe more cars should be allocated towards that particular department,” she said.

Councillor Susan Sithole said that the whole of Emakhandeni ward is sewer-infested and that despite a tour with engineers, nothing has been done to address the problem.

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