A 55-year-old mom is demanding answers from the City of Cape Town after she fell into an open storm drain and badly injured herself.
Petula Kalindo from Bellville South says two weeks ago she was on her way to work at around 6am when she stepped into the metre-long open drain on Robert Sobukwe Drive which has left her with painful bruises on her upper body and legs, while her left knee is badly swollen.
She says the street lights were off and there were no danger signs to be seen, adding: “The City was negligent.”
Kalindo says doctors at three public hospitals gave her a runaround, telling her they could not do X-rays to perform a full examination.
“The worst is when I finally got help at Tygerberg Day Hospital and spent a night, a sister discharged me with a drip still intact. Because I was numb as my body was still in shock, we only realised this when I got home,” she says.
Her daughter Cassey-Marre Kalindo says it’s been a complete nightmare.
"We sent a complaint about the drain and street lights to the City of Cape Town and all we received is an acknowledgement email with a reference number.
“Bellville South Day Hospital refused to give us a full medical report stating her injuries.”
Shimoney Regter, spokesperson for Western Cape Government Health, confirmed Petula was treated at Bellville South Community Day Centre, Elsies River Community Health Centre and Tygerberg Hospital.
“Ms. Kalindo needed an ultrasound to check whether she had internal injuries. Elsies River CHC referred Ms. Kalindo to Bishop Lavis CDC for the ultrasound examination. However, she did not present at Bishop Lavis.”
Felicity Purchase, Mayco member for Transport, says most of the drain covers are stolen while some are broken by heavy vehicles which drive over the pavement.
“Once the City is notified, an assessment is done and the drain replaced. That said, the Transport Department is investigating the incident,” says Purchase.