Cosmo City’s pollution woes need fixing – now
I WONDER whether residents of Extension 6 Cosmo City Township, nestling between the Northgate Shopping Centre in Northriding and the Lanseria International Airport, north-west of Johannesburg, enjoyed their festive season.
The sewage drainage systems in Extension 6 Cosmo City ceased to function by the middle of last year, or maybe earlier. My observation was in mid-2018 when I drove past a burst sewage manhole. Intuitively, I thought the authorities would attend to the problem swiftly. How wrong I was!
The road infrastructure where it burst (the corner of Republic and Central Africa roads, Extension 6 Cosmo City) has collapsed to irreparable proportions. The stench is unbearable from afar. Residents of Cosmo City live with faeces gaping from this manhole.
I went to Cosmo City the day after New Year’s Day. I drove on South Africa Road, off Malibongwe Drive, oblivious of the fact that this road is no longer driveable because the better part of it has collapsed into a river of human waste.
I had to look for an alternative route. Fortunately, it was daytime.
If it had been late in the evening, bearing in mind the road still isn’t cordoned off, I would probably have driven on this damaged road full of human excrement.
In my view, this is totally unacceptable and unconstitutional. By all standards, the Cosmo City “multiclass” township is relatively new. The township was a beacon of health when it was established in March 2005. Residents of Cosmo City, prior to being allocated RDP houses, lived in squalid informal settlements in and around Muldersdrift. What a relief it was for them when their right to adequate housing was fulfilled in 2005.
The township as a whole is showing signs of having been under-designed (from the beginning). It is systematically degenerating with water seepages springing up everywhere.
The situation is dire, especially for our vulnerable children who walk daily in the middle of excrement to and from school. Their right to adequate health is flouted flagrantly.
How do these kids and their parents enjoy their rights under the Constitution in a degraded, polluted environment with a collapsed infrastructure? It’s a mystery that these children manage to focus at school under these inhabitable conditions.
If the sewage problem in Extension 6 Cosmo City isn’t arrested soon, we will witness the outbreak of the deadly cholera disease.
We pride ourselves in having a socio-economic developmental Constitution. Indeed, it is true. The world holds the same view about our esteemed Constitution. Our National Development Plan Vision 2030 visualises all South Africans, irrespective of skin colour skin, creed and gender, living in a South Africa in conditions which allow the flowering of our youth. We thus must ensure that we maintain our infrastructure and the environment.
It will be a gross oversight on our part if the excuse for our failure to maintain this infrastructure is that Cosmo City is over-populated. We ought to have seen this possibility when the township was established in 2005.