Yesterday, ActionSA responded to a call by residents of Kempton Park in the City of Ekurhuleni to witness yet another service delivery nightmare in an area where people live in bonded homes.
A raw sewer dam has developed which fills up every rainy season since 2011 and spills into residents’ backyards and church grounds as far as the stream can reach.
During the Summer the heat in the sewer induces an unbearable stench that no human being should have to endure.
Most concerning is that because of the size of the dam, it has become even more challenging for residents’ sewer pipelines to be serviced by the municipality.
It is deeply perturbing that this type of call is increasingly becoming a norm in our work as ActionSA, where residents reach out for our help as a last resort.
Almost daily we are called upon by frustrated residents of various communities in our country relating to us their continual and unsuccessful efforts to try and engage various municipal authorities to come to their aid.
Likewise, for 10 years the residents of Birch Acres in Kempton Park have tried, and on numerous occasions to reach out to the Ekurhuleni Municipality, as well as the Provincial Department of Health to register their complaint about this issue, but with no luck.
To that end, ActionSA has resolved to assist the Birch Acres community in this regard.
ActionSA will engage our legal team to lay a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission and the Office of the Public Protector.
When 10 years have passed by and no level of our government has been responsive to the plight of these residents, there must be accountability.
After having come out of Human Rights Day, we can all agree that these are not isolated issues in our country.
Just in the past two months we have had to respond to two incidents that have led to the deaths of a total of 5 children in Hammanskraal and Mamelodi, respectively.
With both incidents resulting from gross negligence and lack of responsiveness by the City of Tshwane who left spaces where unsuspecting children fell prey to unprotected sites, the children tragically drowned and died.
Someone must be held accountable!
Are we, as a nation waiting for the same to happen in Birch Acres before something can be done about this sewer-spilling dam?
The residents of this community are tired of being ignored, and we as ActionSA will not stop until the issue of these law-abiding citizens is taken seriously.