Dobsonville Hostel Audit to Fix Long Overdue Sewer Issues


The City of Johannesburg’s Department of Human Settlements has carried out an audit of the Dobsonville Hostel in recent weeks in a bid to address persistent health issues and appalling living conditions.

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The audit follows lengthy discussions with city and human settlement officials after concerns raised by hostel residents about unresolved sewage that they said was unsafe.

According to the city, the purpose of the audit is to identify illegal occupiers who have erected structures over the main sewer line.

Neo Goba, Deputy Director of Communications at the MMC office, said: “The main challenges are that the occupants had built their properties over the sewer line and collapsed the hostel’s main sewage system resulting in the discharge of sewers into homes, creating unintended health and safety issues.

Goba said that there are plans to remove the occupants from the sewer line and that Joburg Water will be put in place to upgrade the sewer line to ensure the smooth running of services.

However, the audit was met with resistance from some community members who objected to the city’s decision to relocate them.

Residents also said they felt forgotten and ignored by the government as they lacked access to adequate housing and basic service delivery needs.

READ ALSO : Soweto affected by phase two of water cuts

Nonozi Dlamini, a resident of the hostel who is now part of the local auditors, said he wanted to see the hostel in better condition.

“It’s nothing new, the pipes are always clogged and the water is pouring in front of our doors. It’s been a long time and the smell is horrible.

“There are a lot of children we’ve encountered since we started the audits who seem to have been born sick or have a mental illness, we don’t understand if it’s because of the water or what.”

Buthelezi is part of the group of residents who go door to door to collect data on the number of individuals per household, including the number of tenants (shack dwellers).

“As residents, we are happy that action is being taken, but we want them to deal with the issues concerning this hostel.

“This place is falling apart, the sewers are not the only problem here, we still have an electricity crisis and there is also the issue of title deeds that some have been waiting for over 30 years” , she said.

The city said it was unable to give a date regarding the completion of the audit but would engage with Ward Cllr, Tebogo Mhlari to facilitate a meeting with all stakeholders of the project so that timing issues can be resolved.

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