Residents fed-up with flooded subway

The dirt causing the blockage in the drains in the parking lot.

Athlone train station’s subway has been flooded since the beginning of May and is to blame for a horrible stench in the area, say residents.

The water in the subway on the Birdwood Road side of the station reaches the first step.

Athlone resident Everett Titus, 63, said the subway had been flooded since Wednesday May 6 and people were crossing the railway tracks to get to the other side. She had injured her left leg when doing so, she said.

Ward councillor Rashid Adams had not responded to her queries, she said, and residents were upset because they paid a lot of money for rates and did not expect to be saddled with such a problem.

“I have two reference numbers already, and still nothing. We are sick of this, why do we have to put up with this? We pay so much for our rates?”

Resident Shameega Bushvy said she had to climb over the tracks to get to the shops for herself and her mother, and she had twisted her ankle.

Staff had cleaned the subway two weeks ago, but it had flooded again on the same day, she
said.

“Apparently it’s the drain at the parking lot of Shoprite that is blocked. That’s why the subway is flooded all the time. There is a horrible smell in the road and it makes you sick.”

She had complained to the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa without success, she said.

Faiz Parker said he had given up on receiving help as officials were “lackadaisical” especially during the lockdown.

“We have been putting bricks there for people to walk on since last year but none of the officials come out to help us. The security at the station are so hopeless; we have tried to have a meeting with the owner of the security but he never came back to us. They don’t want to help us. The security are so nonchalant, they don’t care about anything happening there.”

Mr Adams said the City had cleaned rubble and dirt from the subway about two weeks ago and he was waiting to hear from Prasa about the issue.

“People need to get from one side to the other; it’s very difficult, but, unfortunately, in the meantime they will have to use the bridge and use the long way around George Street to get to Klipfontein Road.”

Metrorail spokeswoman Riana Scott said the subway was a City of Cape Town asset. She said the issue had been flagged and the City would be alerted if the issue was not resolved by the time the station reopened.

“To comply with Covid-19 level 4 regulations, Metrorail maintenance teams are staggered and rotated and jobs prioritised to prepare for service resumption.

“The repair teams will attend to all outstanding issues, unfortunately a specific date and time cannot be confirmed,” said Ms
Scott.