Sed­ge­fiel­ders lash back o­ver sep­tic tank ser­vi­ces

Knysna-Plett Herald - - News - S­te­fan Goo­sen

In Sed­ge­field, re­si­dents are e­qual­ly up­set a­bout the rates hi­ke, as well as the is­sue of sep­tic tanks being emp­tied for their ac­count.

A well-kno­wn re­si­dent, Mi­ke Young, says the sewerage rates are one of the main is­su­es lo­cals fa­ce. “It de­fi­ni­te­ly is a pro­blem in Sed­ge­field – I’ve spo­ken to ma­ny dif­fe­rent mem­bers of the com­mu­ni­ty and no­bo­dy knows w­hat we’re going to do a­bout it,” he says.

Sed­ge­field Ra­te­pay­ers As­so­ci­a­ti­on (SRA) mem­ber Ter­ry Cockroft says that in ad­di­ti­on to the sewerage rates hi­ke, re­si­dents with sep­tic tanks ha­ve al­so been left with que­s­ti­ons. “The mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty u­sed to emp­ty our tanks for free at le­ast twi­ce a y­e­ar, and we would pay a mi­ni­mal fee for the rest, but no mo­re.

Now they’re char­ging us for all emp­tying of tanks,” he says.

Cockroft, a re­ti­red en­gi­neer, says he thinks fe­wer than 20% of Sed­ge­field ho­mes are con­nected to the se­wa­ge tre­at­ment works, whi­le the rest re­ly on sep­tic or con­ser­van­cy tanks.

“I sus­pect the free emp­tying of tanks da­tes back to the old Sed­ge­field (mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty) days, which Knys­na accep­ted w­hen it took o­ver. Now it seems to me li­ke they (KM) need the mo­ney and I think the funds are pro­ba­bly going to­wards sewerage in ge­ne­ral. We ha­ve rai­sed t­his and ma­ny ot­her is­su­es with the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty, but no ans­wers or so­lu­ti­ons are of­fe­red,” he says.

A re­si­dent of Sed­ge­field Is­land Vil­la­ge, ac­coun­tant Da­vid Tro­mans, con­firms Cockroft’s as­ser­ti­on that emp­tying of tanks u­sed to occur free of char­ge twi­ce a y­e­ar, and that now e­ach emp­tying of a tank is paid for.

Ac­cor­ding to Tro­mans, re­si­dents of Is­land Vil­la­ge, w­he­re so­lids are sto­red in a tank for emp­tying and the li­quids end up in a se­pa­ra­te tank that le­ads to the se­wa­ge tre­at­ment works, pay for both the emp­tying of their tank as well as being char­ged the ge­ne­ral sewerage rates. “E­ach ho­me pays s­tan­dard rates – I think mi­ne has go­ne up a­bout 70%,” he adds.

Ac­cor­ding to KM, in the past, ser­vi­ces such as e­lec­tri­ci­ty, wa­ter, re­fu­se and sewerage we­re sub­si­di­sed by rates, which is no lon­ger the ca­se, and as such the ta­riff struc­tu­re has been a­men­ded.

“The cost to o­pe­ra­te the ser­vi­ces must be re­cou­ped from the in­co­me for e­ach ser­vi­ce,” it says, ad­ding the sa­me ap­plies to sep­tic tanks.

In re­spon­se to re­si­dents clai­ming they ha­ve re­por­ted their is­su­es wit­hout feed­back, the KM says: “Kind­ly pro­vi­de de­tails (e­mails sent etc.) for us to fol­low up on the mat­ter.” -

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