On 30 December 2021, Chairman Dawie van Wyk addressed the following letter to:
Acting Director Infrastructure
“PORT ALFRED IS SWIMMING IN SEWAGE”
There are currently numerous areas in Port Alfred that are inundated by sewage spills. These spills are avoidable and are largely caused by a lack of maintenance and the will by the Infrastructure Department to fix the sewage pump stations. This cannot be a welcome smell or sight for our visitors. These photographs were taken on the 28th and 29thof December 2021.
1. Bekker Street (Status 28th December)
This sewage pumps station has not been working for months. The sewage is running into down Bekker Street into Mentone Road then into the Kowie River. Currently the pump has been removed and placed next to the sewage sump. The sewage is running from the pump station down Bekker Street and the sewage trucks are attempting to empty the sewage sump. What is wrong with the pump as I was told this morning that it was working? The stench for residents must be unbearable!
Sewage Pump Station
Sewage Running down Bekker Street
2. Kowie Museum
Again this issue has been going on for weeks. The stench is unbearable and what do holiday makers think of Port Alfred when they want to visit the Museum?
Road crossing with sewage from the front of the Museum
Sewage running towards the Kowie River from Road Crossing
3. Behind the Ocean Basket van der Riet Street
Again this is an ongoing problem. The owner of the building is aware that the developer’s conservancy tanks were too small for the building. This is exacerbated by the Ocean Basket not cleaning fat traps. When the sewage overflows are fixed there is no attempt to clean up the spilt sewage. Again what do potential patrons to our restaurants in van der Riet Street think when the have to walk through sewage in van der Riet Street.
4. Behind Pick and Pay in Biscay Road
There is a continuous over flow from the manholes and drains in this street. The stench is horrific and goods are being loaded from delivery trucks and the workers are walking through the sewage into the storage areas of the shops. This is unhealthily dangerous and these shops should be closed by the health department of Ndlambe until all blocked sewers and leaks are fixed. There is no cleaning up of spilled sewage and no disinfecting of the area takes place at all. The stench this morning was horrific. Vehicles drive through the sewage spills splashing sewage all over the area.
Pictures of sewage flowing into the storm water drains in Biscay Road and into the Kowie River.
5. Biscay Road behind the Super Spar
Again this is an area that sewage continuously flows into and then flows down the street. When the problem is addressed and fixed there is no cleaning up by the shop owners or the Municipality and shoppers and workers traipse through the sewage into the shops and their food storage areas. Ndlambe Health Department need to close these shops until the sewage spills are cleaned and sanitised.
Un-sanitised sewage spills near Nemato Super Spar
6. Nemato Sewage spilling into the Kowie River over the road to Centenary Park.
The three Sewage Pumps Stations in Nemato have been non-functional months. This results in the sewage running down the hill towards Centenary Park where the sewage seeps through the salt marshes into the Kowie River. This has been going on for months. (See email attached sent to Director Vithi with no acknowledgment or plan to prevent the sewage running into the Kowie River).
Sewage running into the Kowie River from Nemato
There are numerous instances of sewage pouring into the Kowie River. The river is becoming so polluted that holiday makers will soon have to be warned of the health hazards of swimming, skiing, boating or canoeing on the river! This pollution of our valuable asset must be stopped. If our numerous visitors and potential home owners become aware of this pollution they will not come and holiday or buy property in Port Alfred as their favourite venue of choice. These constant sewage spills are affecting businesses, tourism and rate paying residents. This state of affairs cannot be allowed to continue.
Could the Ndlambe Municipality give PARRA a plan and timeline as to when items 1 to 5 will be addressed and fixed?
Dawid van Wyk
We are pleased to inform our ratepayer’s & resident’s that Mr Babama (Acting Director of Infrastructure at Ndlambe Municipality) responded prompted as follows to our request:
“In response of the sewage spillages as identified on the email, the following are the interventions made by the infrastructure department:
Becker street Pump station: There was a problem with the pumps and the pumps were installed on the 29 December 2021.
Kowie Museum: Apparently there was a blockage at the corner of Alfred road and R67 which is already attended on the 31/12/2021.
Behind the Ocean Basket: As Dawie indicated, the pump keeps failing and we will keep on cleaning the area. This affect other businesses in the area.
Behind Pick and pay and Biscay road: This is a result of foreign objects that are flushed on the system but the municipality keeps on unblocking the lines. It was noticed that most of the time fats are the main challenge causing the major blockage. Meaning that, fat traps for businesses in town are not working properly but our team keeps on unblocking these lines.
Sewage running into Kowie River from NEMATO: This is one of the pump stations that were given to QFS.
I will provide a proper report indicating current status about all the above areas.
Our Chairman, Mr Dawie van Wyk, accordingly responded with further requests:
Thanks for the swift response.
There are a few issues arising out of Mr Babama’s report:
1. Why are the business owners who do not clean their fat traps and block the sewage lines not get fined/ and or get prosecuted?
2. It is correct QFS/NewGround consulting were as part of their RO Tender responsible to fix/rehabilitate the three defunct Nemato sewage pump stations. They need to be taken to task for not doing this.
3. The Rate Payers would like to be part of the Ndlambe team that inspects and writes a report on all Port Alfred’s sewage pump stations. I am available at any time to accompany an Ndlambe Official to all the sewage pump stations.
4. The issue of the owner of building that houses the Ocean Basket restaurant needs to be resolved. The Municipality should call for a round table discussion of all businesses in van der Riet who suffer these constant sewage spills and must be part of this discussion.
Dawie van Wyk