The sewage spillage that occurred two weeks back at UJ’s Soweto Campus (SWC), almost flooding the pavement of its bus stop area, was cleaned up on Thursday.
The area, which is near the main entrance of the campus, was inundated with excess sewer water reaching the University’s demarcating fence after a blocked sewage drain discharge.
Due to the situation, students have been queueing for buses near the parking area, while visitors and buses had to move to another parking area leaving this side of the parking lot congested.
According to Campus Maintenance, the University has the main sanitary sewer access point, meaning that all of the waste around the area goes there. “It was an external blockage; therefore, our services were limited,” said SWC Project Coordinator, Mantoa Ramotshela.
“We were still busy communicating with those responsible outside the campus. The best we could do was to keep cleaning it and get students as further as possible for health reasons.”
The Open Journal contacted SWC Campus Director, who said he was aware of the situation, and has issued a notice on ULink for everyone with access.
“We have been meeting with Joburg Water for the past week trying to solve the issue. The sewage was cleared yesterday (Thursday) around 15h00 and today is business as usual on campus,” said Campus Director, Andre Coetzer.
Even though that is true, the bus stop area is covered by a red tape and there is still an unpleasant smell.
Students had mixed reactions to the situation. One, who did not want to be named, felt that there is nothing wrong with it, “I have been attending on this campus for years now. The bus stop queuing zone is new, so we have been through the mixed-up lines before.”
Another student felt that it was causing chaos: “we are standing next to cars, and you know how some people drive. The smell is unbearable and on Monday we were also confused on which line was for which bus,” said Mandisa Mkhize.
A Megabus staff was happy about the sewage clearance but complained regarding the smell, “we are happy they finally cleaned and cleared everything; however, we would appreciate it if they could at least clean with something to stop the smell,” said a Megabus Queue Marshal.
“If the campus cleaners could put detergents like Jeyes Fluid today (Friday), on Monday we could all return to a fresh and odorless environment,” he added.
The University is working on restoring order and creating an environment with a pleasant smell for students. However, students will continue to queue at the end of the red tape to avoid health risks.
(Contact Sanele Nkosi: firstname.lastname@example.org)