What a sorry mess

King William’s Town residents find their town in a state of squalor as the Samwu strike edges forward with no end in sight.

Uncollected refuse and overflowing sewerage can be seen on most street corners in the town, leaving a nauseating stench in the air.

Cement bins on street corners are lying on their side after being overturned and garbage has spilled over onto the street and drainage system.

The town’s annual switching on of Christmas lights that takes place at the Botanical Gardens was cancelled due to damaged infrastructure.

Christmas lights along Alexander Road can clearly be seen to have been burnt and cables torn out. Some had been completely removed – even an old palm tree was not spared the destruction.

The GO! went out to investigate for itself set out on an investigation and found the corners of Alexander and Maitland roads littered with dumped garbage bags. Water flowed from an apparent burst pipe, releasing an unpleasant smell.

A business owner who remained anonymous for fear of reprisals, retaliation said they had been running on a generator since November 24.

“Having to buy fuel to run the generator has been so costly. We attempted to take our rubbish to the tip site but our safety was threatened so we decided to keep it on our property,” she said.

She said added that she hoped the matter would be resolved come to a resolution soon as current conditions were unhealthy for all.

On Friday, a pipe burst in town and, according to BCMM, was being fixed by Amatola Water. This resulted in the entire town being without water.



According to resident Colin Parmanandam, water was not available the Friday afternoon. However, there seemed to be a leak near his residence.

“I called the municipality and nobody answered the phone.

“Eventually someone picked up and said they’re on strike and would not come to fix the problem,” Parmanandam said.

When the GO! visited the corners of Maitland and Beaumont roads on Saturday, the GO! reporter saw water streaming down the road.


Zone 1 in Zwelitsha has been without electricity since November 24.

Buzwe Bethu Textile Prints owner Nobuzwe Mabona said the situation had severely affected her business.

“I’ve had to move some machines and work out of my parent’s garage, as well as transport my staff.

“ We’ve had to work in shifts to try overcome the backlog,” Mabona said.

Power hasn’t been restored to the robots on the R346 in Zwelitsha as well as at some robots in King William’s Town.

On Tuesday, BCM issued a message on their Facebook page that saying they would address the situation in town but that it would take “hundreds of thousands of rand to replace and install a power station, averaging to a cost of half-a-million rand and above, depending on size.”

At the time of going to print, the town still remained in a state of disrepair.


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