Sewage crisis in Refentse

Residents in the Refentse settlement have to barricade their properties to prevent sewage running into their homes.

A health crisis is looming in the Refentse settlement in Hartbeespoort due to serious sewage spills. In some areas, residents have to barricade their homes to prevent sewage from running into their homes.

The sewage spills in this settlement, and other areas of Hartbeespoort, were featured on Carte Blanche earlier this week and still nothing has been done to rectify the situation.

“We are going to get sick and the municipality does not care. The government must know about this. Madibeng is putting our lives in danger,” a resident said.

The streams of sewage through the settlement and into Van der Hoff road is the result of an overflowing sewage manhole. The problem has been ongoing for months. Kormorant and Refentse residents have sent repeated urgent requests for the municipality to address the situation.

This week the municipality finally responded to enquiries by saying that Refentse settlement waste water drainage system is incomplete.

“Sewage is supposed to be collected and disposed of at Rietfontein Waste Water Treatment Works. However due to incomplete servitude negotiations between the Housing Development Agency (HAD), Madibeng Local Municipality and the land owners, construction of the bulk line (the line that will collect sewage from both Sunway and Refentse and transport it to Rietfontein) has not yet commenced,” said municipal spokesperson, Tumelo Tshabalala.

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“In order to provide a temporary, short term solution the Madibeng Local Municipality constructed conservancy tanks to manage drainage from the Refentse settlement. These conservancy tanks were not constructed to the correct standard and have since largely collapsed. Due to the capacity reduction, the tanks require emptying at least three times a week by means of a vacuum tanker truck. The current spillage will be attended to.”

He said the re-construction of the tanks to the correct standard now forms part of the list of projects approved in principal by the MIG funding reprioritisation programme.