The Newcastle Municipality is in the process of resolving the longstanding sewage issue at Grace Park, situated at the intersection of Gemsbok Avenue and Memel Road.
The resolution of this problem is also set to alleviate sewage issues in several other suburbs in Newcastle.
The Newcastle Municipality has set up an internal Service Delivery Task Team comprising all the departments responsible for driving service delivery. “At present, the forum has made commendable strides towards tackling sewer concerns that have continued to haunt Newcastle,” said the Municipality’s Communications Unit.
On Sunday, 9 April 2023, the Municipality’s Technical department led by the Municipal Accounting Officer, Mr Zamani Mcineka, swiftly responded to the sewer woes behind the Grace Community Church on Gemsbok Street at Hutten Heights. Cllr Bertie Meiring explained that the problem was a result of a collapsed pipe and sewage not being able to flow properly. However, he reported that the Newcastle Municipality is making headway in resolving the matter and repairing the collapsed sewage line that resulted in the issue.
The Newcastle Municipality’s Communications Unit explained that the major pipe replacement project aims to put a permanent end to the sewer challenge that has been a great source of frustration for residents of several areas, including Hutten Heights, Bird Street, Voortrekker Street, Memel Road, Sutherland Street, Trim Park, Finnemore Street, Jenkyn Street, and businesses around Allen Street and Newcastle Corner.
The Municipality and contractor could not simply shut off the sewage line during the repair work, as this would cause a sewage overflow elsewhere. This led to the existing line being bypassed for the interim, to overcome the present flow until the work is complete. “The past few weeks, the Municipality used its honeysucker to pump the sewage out of the manhole at Grace Church. This was done to minimize the overflow at the church,” explained Cllr Meiring.
The municipal manager conducted a routine sight visit inspection on the construction progress of the main pipeline that pumps sewer from the Ayliff pump station to the Ncandu pump station, ensuring that the project is running smoothly.
“As the Newcastle Municipality, we have committed to addressing all sewer spillage challenges that have persisted in plaguing our town. The municipality has earmarked the issue of the town’s aging infrastructure as a key priority project for the 2923/24 IDP,” commented Mcineka.
The Communications Unit highlighted that a functional municipality depends on the payment of utility bills.
“To ease the financial load, we have granted our customers a 50% write off on debt older than 5 years and a range of other affordable incentive schemes on property rates,” said the Communications Unit.
The municipal incentive schemes cater to the indigent, pensioners, and low-income households. “The municipality continues to prioritise basic public service delivery and encourages customers to play their role by making affordable payment arrangements on their municipal service rates,” concluded the Communications Unit.