Claims raw sewage in Nahoon is from Beacon Bay mall

A screen grab from the video claiming to show sewage being pumped into the city's water drainage system.
A screen grab from the video claiming to show sewage being pumped into the city's water drainage system.

China Town mall management have vehemently denied claims made in a video of a sewage tank pumping a substance into the city’s water management system circulated on social media on Tuesday.

In the 33-second video clip, Bishop Country Estates chair Simon Thesen is heard saying the mall is pumping “raw sewage straight into East London’s stormwater management down into Nahoon River”.

The mall’s management says they were unfairly targeted.

BCM spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya confirmed the municipality was investigating the matter.

On Tuesday, however, Thesens, while confirming he recorded the video, flatly denied accusing the mall of polluting the Nahoon River.

In the video, Thesens is heard saying: “Anyone wonder where the sewage in the Nahoon River comes from ... stormwater, septic tank, China Town, Beacon Bay is pumping their raw sewage from that plug point where there is a ... pump straight into East London stormwater management down into Nahoon River.”

Thesens told the Dispatch he had posted the video on a private WhatsApp group and someone else had broadcast it more widely on social media.

Hitting back at the claim, China Town general manager Kevin Moldenhauer said the mall pumped its sewage into a conservation tank because their sewage tank broke four months ago and BCM collected it from the premises every Friday. “We just store the sewage in our second tank and do not pump it anywhere. “And this is not a septic tank, it’s a conservation tank,” Moldenhauer said.

Ngwenya said: “The consumer will be dealt with as per the requirements of the water services bylaws.

“We cannot at this stage solely conclude to say [the mall] is the main polluter of the river, but might contribute to pollution.

“A full report on this can be available on Thursday.”

BCM’s communications team failed to respond by the time of going to print on Tuesday.

According to a statement by ward 28 councillor Marion Mackley, the issue had already been reported to BCM and the department of agriculture, forestry & fisheries, as well as the Green Scorpions.

“Apparently when China Town was built they insisted on a septic tank to avoid municipal charges. BCM sends a tanker almost every day to empty the pit. BCM are busy negotiating with China Town to link them to the sewerage infrastructure.”