Headaches over noise in Harfield

Drains in Harfield Village have been spilling over and work done to repair them has been going on for weeks.

Harfield Village is known for its green parks and tranquil environment but lately, noise coming from generators used by those working on the sewer network in the area have left the air filled with a horrible stench and residents with no sleep.

The work started on Wednesday August 30 to remedy the problem of over-flowing sewage drains and is still ongoing.

Residents say noisy generators situated meters away from their homes are being switched on at various hours of the night and early mornings without consideration for the neighbourhood.

Resident Brett Pomario said he had not complained earlier due to the urgency of the work. However, having gone weeks without sleep and seeing the project being extended due to complications with machinery, he feels that he can no longer be silent .

“They started fixing the sewage pipes because it is constantly flooding but the generators are turned on and off at night and sometimes at 4am and 2am in the morning. I haven’t slept properly in three weeks. I tried to remain very calm, but it is poorly managed and there is no consideration for the community.

“I have two children, a two year old and a three year old and no one is sleeping properly. They’re trying to upgrade it and that’s fantastic, but all our doors and windows are closed, but you can can’t sleep. At one point, four generators were going at night,” said Mr Pomario.

Another resident, Lucille Braaf, said apart from the noise keeping herself and her family up at night, she has also been unable to leave her home on occasion due to machinery blocking her driveway.

“It is very challenging and difficult to get out of our property with the machinery outside, one day they told me that I could only get out at 4pm. At times I had to Uber because I couldn’t leave my place, costing me additional money.

“It’s been going on for over a month now and I never received notice about this happening in the area. Only yesterday a women manning the traffic handed out a notice about the ongoing work, saying that they received complaints from residents who didn’t receive notice,” said Ms Braaf.

Mr Pomario said that he spoke to the contractors fixing the sewage system and was informed that a specialist cutting machine they were using broke down and they were waiting for parts to arrive from Germany before their work could resume. He was also told that the work would continue until mid-November.

Project manager and civil technician for the City of Cape Town, Chad Snell, said that he had not received any noise complaints and said that the contractor is tasked to carry out the rehabilitation in a least disruptive manner as possible, but some situations are unavoidable.

“Sewer mains in Second avenue, Baronrath and Wessels road was earmarked as sections of our sewer network that required rehabilitation. There are certain activities of the project that requires over-pumping of sewage that is unavoidable and need to be done to prevent spillages on property and roadway.

“Due the complexity of the sewer network in the area and complications on site, it was necessary to deploy the three generators mentioned. Residents have been made aware of the project timeously and again we do apologise for the temporary inconvenience,” said Ms Snell.