Residents serve Joburg with letter of demand to repair water pipe damaging their homes

By Anna Cox Before 6pm

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Johannesburg – A letter of formal notice has been sent to the City of Joburg to repair the entire main aquatic system that runs under sections of Orange Grove, Victoria and Houghton.

What was originally seen as a threat to property has now evolved into a threat to life that warrants more direct and aggressive action, say residents and their lawyer.

Kirsten Chetty, who acted on behalf of residents whose homes were being built over the massive water canal, said the city only repaired part of the pipe under a plot of land in Orange Grove that collapsed in December by court order, but the same thing The property and the neighboring houses were again in turmoil.

Chetty said a professional inspection firm has now carried out an inspection of the entire western storm sewer on behalf of all the owners who have been concerned about the collapse of their homes for many years.

“It is well documented that several members of the Orange Grove, Houghton and Victoria community have been affected by the worsening condition of the station. As the extent of the damage continues to worsen, particularly given the recent heavy rainfall, the need for the city to adequately address and repair this canal is growing. This is now life threatening and warrants more direct and aggressive action.

“In December 2020, we, Schindler’s Attorneys, succeeded in getting a court order that forced the city to rehabilitate part of the canal that collapsed in Orange Grove in 2018.

However, the court order only applied to an isolated / specific part of the canal. We hope the city can arrange for a full investigation and repairs if necessary, ”she said.

The attorney and local residents are working with Synevo Inspections (Pty) Ltd with resident associations Orange Grove and Victoria Orange Grove West to force the city to inspect and repair the entire length of the deteriorating canal from Paterson Park to Houghton Waterfall said Chetty.

The inspection company has conducted approximately six visual site inspections of various properties along the canal walkway.

“We can confirm that these properties are indeed fragile and have clear signs that the land they stand on is compromised by the level of settlement which justifies the classification of most, if not all properties as high risk. These properties can at any time dissolve into a sinkhole below, ”she added.

The lawyer and local residents have now sent the city a letter of formal notice to take the appropriate measures to stabilize and rehabilitate the entire length of the canal, which has been neglected for years. Otherwise we are ready to escalate this dispute and move closer to the appropriate forum ”.

Joburg City said it was unable to answer questions on the matter because legal proceedings are taking place.

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