Sanitation infrastructure in Port Elizabeth’s Zwide township is crumbling, causing constant sewage spills in the area.

Ward 24 councillor Kolekile Boqwana said he fielded about eight complaints a week from residents in his ward about overflowing sewage.

This was revealed at a site visit by roads and transport portfolio head Marlon Daniels at the corner of Boxongo and Nkewana streets on Tuesday.

Some residents complained that accessing their homes since a project to tar a street started in May had been difficult and that their yards had been taken over by people avoiding sewage-laced mud.

Boqwana said the metro’s response time was 24 to 48 hours.

He said he had reported the Boxongo Street spill and the problem was still being addressed.

“We have a lot of sewage spillage in the ward.

“We have a problem throughout the metro,” Boqwana said.

Daniels said the municipality had to take responsibility for the state of the road and instructed infrastructure and engineering boss Walter Shaidi to close off the water so that contractors could see what was blocking the pipes.

Daniels said had this been Circular Drive, the issue would have been resolved ages ago, but as it was in the township, people were left having to contend with faeces.

“This is not fit for people to stay [in].”

Resident Zongezile Xoma said getting to his house was difficult, especially if it rained or there were additional sewage spillages.

“We were told they’re tarring the road here, but most of the time it’s left like this,” he said.

Another resident, Nceba Mxadana, said he was heartbroken by the situation in the street.

Municipal spokesperson Mthubanzi Mniki said the project to upgrade the existing road to an asphalt surface had been delayed by water leaks and sewage spills.

Asked whether the sewage pipes were too small for the flow, Mniki said this was not the case.

“There is work happening at Fishwater Flats that will have a positive impact in a number of areas across the city in relation to sanitation,” Mniki said.