A Cape Flats primary school was forced to close its doors after a massive sewerage leak left children vomiting and naar.
Yesterday after 11am, Blomvei Primary School in Hanover Park shut its doors, with the principal asking parents and guardians to collect pupils immediately after several learners became ill.
However, City blames the school.
Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services, Councillor Ernest Sonnenberg, says: “The overflow was caused by bottles, rags and sand that had entered the sewerage system, most likely due to the items being thrown down the manholes.
“The situation was exacerbated by the fact that the school’s own stormwater gulleys were blocked. If they had been clear at the time of the blockage, this would have conveyed the spillage away from the school building and the learners.
“The City assisted in cleaning the stormwater channels, but has advised the school that it is their responsibility to do so in future, and that they should keep them clear to avoid flooding during the rainy season.”
He says the blockage was cleared at about 1pm yesterday.
When the Daily Voice visited the school yesterday, the gates were shut and massive sewerage pipes lay nearby in murky, vuil water.
Principal Dawn Petersen posted a letter on social media yesterday advising parents to collect their kids.
Her statement read: “We were met with a major sewerage leakage this morning.
“The smell already has a few learners vomiting because of the toxic fumes.
“Children using toilets are making the situation worse.
“Due to the health risk, we are forced to close down the school temporarily.”
Grandmother Gaironesa Isaacs, 68, rushed to fetch her granddaughter Farghaana Solomons, 10, who is in Grade 3.
As soon as the little girl arrived at home, she began vomiting.
“The sewerage pipes the City of Cape Town is replacing has been here for years and now the smell is affecting everyone, especially the children,” says the ouma.
Kaylin Abrahams, 24, says her niece Venika Abrahams, seven, also became ill at the weekend.
“She told my mother on Saturday she is thirsty and then she started to vomit and popo in her pants,” she says.