Boy falls into uncovered drain

Six-year-old Zohair Rinquest fell into an uncovered drain in Jakkalsvlei Avenue in Bonteheuwel and bruised his arm and back.

A six-year-old boy fell into an uncovered drain in Bonteheuwel while walking with his friends.

Zohair Rinquest was left with minor bruises, but his mother, Aziza, says the drain is a hazard, especially to children and the elderly.

Zohair had fallen in while walking with two friends in Jakkalsvlei Avenue, on Monday April 15, after 5pm, she said.

“I have to take him to the doctor as he is now complaining of pain, I hope that his arm is not broken because he can still move it,” she said.

A plank covering the drain broke as the boy fell in.

Bonteheuwel ward councillor Angus McKenzie said drain covers were stolen frequently across the city.

Not only were the open drains a hazard, but they also added to road flooding and sewer blockages because people dumped illegally in them, he said.

He urged anyone with information about the culprits to come forward. It was hard for someone to grab and run off with a heavy, metal drain cover without being seen, he said.

No cases of drain-cover theft in the area have been reported, according to Bishop Lavis police spokesman Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi.

“If the covers are being stolen it must be reported. I have no knowledge of any drain-cover theft,” he said.

Bishop Lavis Neighbourhood Watch chairman Graham Lindhorst said they also did not know about drain covers being stolen. It was up to the City to make sure all drains were covered to prevent injury, he said.

Felicity Purchase, mayoral committee member for transport, said the City was unaware of the missing Jakkalsvlei Avenue drain cover, but the roads branch would investigate and attend to it.

Ian Neilson, mayoral committee member for finance, said the public could claim from the City if they had suffered an injury which they believe was the result of negligence or omission by the City.

“It is important to note that each claim is assessed on its own merit, which includes assessment of whether there has been any negligence or omission on the City’s side. Once the City has received the resident’s claim form or formal correspondence, a reference number will be provided for all future liaison,” he said.