A young boy was successfully rescued from inside an open stormwater drain at R section in Mlungisi last week.
Residents shared their concerns over the ‘negligent’ Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality when a picture of two community members pulling the boy out of the open drain was posted on Facebook
According to resident, Siphokazi Ngengebule, the boy was walking and playing on the pavement when he ‘shockingly’ fell into the drain. “The manhole is situated right at the corner of my home. I was outside and I suddenly heard screams. I rushed to find out what was going on and I saw the other boys were trying to get him out. Fortunately he did not fall deep into the drain.”
Ngengebule said the boy walked away unharmed. “The drain has been open for more than three years and I have been reporting this to the municipality since.” She said municipal officials closed the drain on Monday.
Another resident who refused to be identified indicated that similar incidents had played out where people accidentally fell into the manhole, leaving some people injured. “This is not the only open stormwater drain in this area. There are several others that are still unattended. We have lost the will to report them because nothing is being done. They do not even close these drains properly when they eventually come. I guess someone has to die for them to realise that this is a problem.”
Ward 17 councillor Mncedisi Mbengo said he was informed about the ordeal and had contacted the technical services department to attend to the matter. “I will be working with the municipality to ensure that all open stormwater drains are closed,” he said.
Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality spokesperson Gcobani Msindwana said: “We have a team that cleans stormwater drains around EMLM and we will definitely visit the place or area that has been cited in the picture and make sure that the drain is properly closed and do inspection around town to make sure that our stormwater drains do not pose any danger. We urge people to assist us by reporting any open stormwater drains in their areas to our technical services at 045-807 6000/01 for attention.”