Family breathes a sigh of relief

The foundation was dug to below water-level.

Over 500 sandbags and 150 tons of specialised concrete and almost R2-million later, the Alexander family can finally breathe a sigh of relief.

The family’s home was one of many homes badly hit by the November 9 floods in 2016.

They lost their boundary wall, together with their state-of-the-art swimming pool.

Mr Travers Alexander said his family was worried that the house, built along the Glendower Stream, would be washed away should the rain persist.

“At some point, our insurance assessor advised us to pack away the furniture and just let the house wash away due to the amount of damage, as well as the water that was underneath the house following the collapse of the wall,” he said.

Ward 20 Clr Jill Humphreys visited the home last Wednesday.

She said, during her walkabout, she noted that raw sewage had been left to pour into the stream instead of being redirected properly.

“One can also see paint residues in the water. It’s evident that somewhere up in the area, paint is being poured in the stormwater drains, which is problematic,” said Clr Humphreys.

She added that collapsed gabions were part of the problem.

“These have now blocked the stream at this very crucial point. When there are heavy rains, the high volumes of water flowing down here have nowhere to go. Hence the wall collapsed. It could not take the pressure,” she said.

Mr Alexander said excess water from the nearby highways is redirected into the stream.

“And if the route is blocked, what do you think will happen to the water? It will obviously flood us. This is a 90-degree bend. It is crucial that water flows through,” he said.

Ward 19 Clr Bill Rundle told the NEWS a while ago that the main problem was the lack of maintenance done on the waterway for over 20 years.

“Also adding to the problem was the fact that the volume capacity of a 90-degree bend had been reduced to less than 20 per cent because of silting and debris collecting there, as well as the collapsed gabion,” said Clr Rundle.

Spokesperson for the City of Ekurhuleni, Mr Themba Gadebe, has since said the city is working on an amicable and lasting solution to the matter.

He said in the meantime, the municipality has repaired and re-adjusted the alignment of the sewer pipe that was damaged by the collapse of the gabion embankment.

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