Fed up with stench

Henrie Geyser, Hout Bay

This is the third week in a row that the residents and businesses in Hout Bay have to put up with stench most foul emitted by the fish factory in the Hout Bay Harbour – and we are fed up with it.

For 20 years we have had to listen to fairytales from City officials, government officials and the fishing factory bosses and even from so-called community leaders crying over what will happen to the community should the factory close down.

We have been campaigning for more than 20 years against this awful smell, which would be totally unacceptable anywhere in the world.

There are numerous fishing factories all over the world, not one of them daring to emit foul smells because of their concerns for their communities and with the knowledge that if they transgress the health rules of their country, they will be closed down immediately.

Not so in this country and in this province. It seems like even our homeowners and ratepayers have given up trying to fight this. Perhaps the time has come for the business community and the residents of Hout Bay to stand together and collectively withhold our rates until officials of City, government and factory owners get off their collective backsides and do something concrete about it.

* Siyabulela Mamkeli, Mayco member for health responds:

The City appreciates the concerns of residents and is doing all it can to balance the needs and rights of all roleplayers. However, the factory is in full compliance with their atmospheric emission licence.

In order to help reduce the odour, the Lucky Star Factory has committed to upgrading their chemical scrubber with a more efficient unit.

They have completed the necessary with due diligence in this regard but the design, construction, installation and commissioning of the new scrubber will take some months to complete.

City Health’s air quality management unit, with the assistance of the Western Cape government, will continue to monitor the ambient air quality in the Hout Bay area to ensure compliance.