After being shown the sewage problem at Amajuba Mall, Newcastillian News was shocked at the impact on more than just shoppers, especially if not remedied soon.
Robbie Matthee, the Centre Manager of Amajuba Mall, told that the sewage started pouring out of a manhole in the delivery section of the mall over a month ago.
Despite relentless efforts to engage the Newcastle Municipality, Matthee expressed his frustration, stating, “I have contacted the Newcastle Municipality several times, calling them at least twice a day. But nothing has been done.”
The sewage leak originates from a manhole situated at the back door of one of the businesses, resulting in an overflow that cascades into the stormwater drains, creating a lingering pool in front of establishments such as The Courier Guy and Woolworths. Consequently, shoppers are forced to enter these businesses cautiously, inhaling the unpleasant odour with each breath.
With the sewage issue taking a toll on businesses, Matthee stressed that Amajuba Mall is relying on the Newcastle Municipality to devise a solution.
Highlighting a recurring problem, he revealed, “This is not the first time we have had this problem. Last year we spent over R100,000 to prevent sewage from entering the premises like this.”
However, with its return, people are reluctant to shop or dine within the premises, burdened by the noxious odour, he explained. If the problem worsens, Matthee warned that the public toilets and businesses onsite would have to be closed, further impacting the mall’s operations.
In response to the ongoing sewage problems, some businesses have allegedly even contemplated the possibility of relocating to preserve their daily operations.
Matthee further asserted that Amajuba Mall refuses to allocate additional funds to rectify an issue that falls under the jurisdiction of the Newcastle Municipality.
When stepping out of the mall and walking to the adjacent fast food outlet, KFC, one can denote that the problem is not confined to the mall itself. Speaking with Newcastillian News, a KFC manager who wished to remain anonymous, disclosed that they are in constant communication with the Newcastle Municipality, making almost daily pleas for assistance.
“The Municipality will then send out a honeysucker to clear the manhole, but the problem is not fixed. We have been sitting with this problem since January, and it is affecting our business.”
With Amajuba Mall, its patrons and businesses greatly affected by this, Newcastillian News reached out to the Newcastle Municipality for comment. But none was forthcoming at the time of publication.
As the sewage continues to flow, posing health risks and jeopardising the businesses at Amajuba Mall, it remains crucial to gather public opinions on this pressing matter. Share your thoughts in the comment section below.