The Newcastle SPCA has found itself flooded in a pool of human excrement for the past few weeks, due to the area’s local sewage pumping into their property.
According to Heather Gero of the SPCA, the problem began two weeks ago at the SPCA. Despite contacting the Newcastle Municipality three times, Gero says the SPCA has received no joy.
She went on to say, “The municipality eventually sent a honeysucker on Friday, September 11, but we were then told the job was too big for it and other municipal staff would need to be sent. We are still waiting for them.”
Looking at the origins of the problem, the leak stems from nearby communal homes. With several people living in the homes and in the area around the SPCA, Gero says it appears the sewage system cannot deal with the influx of raw sewage making its way through the system.
People from these homes are trying to force condoms, nappies and other items down the system. Now we are sitting with the problem. You should see what comes out of the pipes,””Gero states.
Adding to her frustration, the local SPCA head claimed that in a strange and dismissive statement, a municipal official stated the leak was not due to any fault of the municipality. She claims, the official said the Newcastle Municipality inherited the issues from the old apartheid regime.
Gero further says she was recently forced to fork out cash for a plumber to try and resolve the matter. saying, “But I can’t afford to get another plumber to come out and even if I do, the sewage is back within a day. Our perimeter wall has started crumbling due to the sewage. It is getting worse and it is a major health risk. We can’t hang our washing up and let our dogs out in the run because of the sewage.
Responding to the issue, Mlungisi Khumalo, Head of Communication at the Newcastle Municipality states the municipality is fully aware of the persisting sewage problem affecting the property and ground of the SPCA.
Going on to say, “A team was sent out to the SPCA to assess the extent of the damage. A temporary solution was put in place, in the form of deploying a team from our technical services who used a honey sucker in the interim whilst looking at a long term solution.”
Assuring the municipal technical team is currently in the process of finding long term solutions, in order to solve the crisis.
Offering peace of mind to the SPCA and the community, Khumalo says, the Newcastle Municipality is extremely concerned by this issue and they are looking at resolving it as speedily as possible.
Concluding in saying, “We urge members of the community to also work closely with the municipality as we aim to resolve all sewage and piping related issues,”
With a prospective solution planned to resolve the SPCA’s issues, hopefully, we will soon see the beloved animal shelter back to its former glory.
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Author: Quinton Boucher and Calvin Swemmer
Edited: Calvin Swemmer