City making inroads in fight against pollution

Some of the stakeholders who attended the Hout Bay River Catchment Forum meeting at Kronendal Primary School are, from left, Richard Burns, Candice Haskins, Justin Smit, Jackie Whales, Jarrod Ball, Nontsikelelo Martel, Terry Murphy and ward councillor Roberto Quintas

There have been notable developments in initiatives to reduce pollution in Hout Bay, a meeting of the Hout Bay River Catchment Forum heard last week.

During the meeting at Kronendal Primary School Justin Smit, a senior professional officer in the City of Cape Town’s catchment and stormwater management branch, detailed challenges and outcomes achieved in Hout Bay.

Mr Smit said his branch had had to contend with underinvestment and ageing infrastructure, dumping, vandalism, rapid urban growth and high settlement densities.

There has also been problems with silt build-up, contamination and waste build up in the sewer diversion chambers.

He said the City had used telemetry to monitor the functioning of the pump station and that had helped to improve the monitoring of water quality.

The City was also considering building an extra siltation chamber in the new financial year.

Discussions had also taken place over a redesign of the gabion near Victoria Road insofar as the City would like to make it bigger and higher.

“This would act as another form of litter control, and we are looking at the authorisation of this,” Mr Smit said.

The City is also looking at two detention ponds to be built in Imizamo Yethu, in the fire-affected area and behind the Hout Bay police station.

The meeting also heard that there had been a reduction in the frequency of sewer blockages in the area and that adequate access to sewer, potable water and solid-waste services would be provided for all new informal settlement residents.

During the meeting, resident Len Swimmer also gave an update on a Western Cape High Court ruling ordering the developer of the Hout Bay Beach Club to remove soil, general rubble and fill that was placed within the floodplain of the Disa River, (“Beach Club ruling hailed as a win for Disa Rover”, Sentinel, February 23).

The developers had now approached the Supreme Court of Appeal in an attempt to reverse the cost order, he said.

And Thrive Hout Bay’s Nontsikelelo Martel said the organisation was creating a model for community engagement, resulting from interviews conducted in Imizamo Yethu.

“We are trying to instil a mindset of the importance of separating waste,” she said.