In the latter part of 2021, a two-year-old toddler tragically died after he had fallen into an open manhole/sewer drain in Greenpoint, Khayelitsha.
The child’s uncle asked: “How many children must die in this very undignified way in order for the City to realise its constitutional obligation to provide basic services to poor and working class communities?” as GroundUp reported.
Brett Heron reported at the time that the same problem of open manholes was present in Bishop Lavis. “Neglect is common on Cape Flats. It shouldn’t be!” he said.
Eventually, the manhole that stole a 2-year-old’s life was covered by water and sanitation staff, but it seems that maintaining this problem in Cape Town needs to step up on the agenda.
These are the views of a Lower Crossroads mother, who has been distressed after her 3-year-old son fell into an open drain in March this year.
Another boy saved the 3-year-old, but Olusindiso Mswana, the mother of the child who had fallen in, has expressed that she is traumatised, worried that someone else’s child “falls in next and doesn’t make it this time?” she said as per IOL.
According to the Water and Sanitation team, manhole covers are replaced as soon as they’re reported to be open, and claim that there was no service request in this incident.
However, the root cause can be linked to the theft of these covers in certain Cape Town areas, which last year already the City said it had enforced the SAPs to investigate.
The open manhole situation has become a huge problem in Cape Town, and now eyes are on the correct authorities to apply further pressure onto the situation.
Picture: Nkosikhona Swartbooi/ Facebook