NMB Mayor Must Urgently Address Service Delivery Failures in Gqeberha

ActionSA is deeply disturbed by the ongoing sewage crisis in Motherwell (Gqeberha), particularly in Ward 54, where residents are facing dire living conditions.

Despite multiple attempts to bring this issue to the attention of Mr. Barry Martin, the Director of Water and Sanitation, there has been a shocking lack of response. The situation has escalated to the point where elderly residents are forced to live in houses flooded with sewage, and some have resorted to relieving themselves in the bush due to the unliveable conditions.

Our initial contact with Mr. Barry Martin on the 19th of October and subsequent attempts on the 24th, 25th, 31st, and 1st of November have yielded no material results. Despite assurances that the matter was passed on to his team, no tangible action has been taken. This unacceptable negligence has left vulnerable residents in distressing circumstances, with no indication of care or concern from the NMBM administration.

In addition to the sewage crisis, the aftermath of heavy rains that thankfully alleviated the drought crisis has led to stagnant water in the water ponds of Motherwell. One water retention pond in Mtendwe Street, NU7, is affected by a blockage, resulting in a frog and mosquito infestation in the neighbourhood. The delayed response from the local councillor’s office is yet another example of the lack of care and urgency when it comes to these pressing service delivery matters.

The houses affected by the sewage crisis are particularly those on Nkumbi Street (NU 11), including Nkumbi 3, 5, 11, and 13, as well as Khalendula 170, 172, and 176. They are experiencing blocked sewers and drains. Residents are compelled to resort to unsanitary measures, and Nkumbi Street itself is partially closed due to sewerage damming up. Despite reaching out to MMC Nqisha (Infrastructure & Engineering) before escalating the matter to the Mayor, there has been no positive outcome.

ActionSA urgently calls upon the Nelson Mandela Municipality, Mr. Barry Martin, Mr Yusuf Gafoor and Mayor Gary van Niekerk to prioritize the well-being of Ward 54 residents. Immediate and decisive action is imperative to address the blocked sewers to provide relief to affected households and prevent further distress to the community.

We insist on transparency, regular updates on progress, and accountability for those responsible for this unacceptable delay in service delivery. The suffering of the residents cannot be ignored, and we implore the municipality to act swiftly to resolve this humanitarian crisis.