Residents in Desert, a section of Pholile informal settlement, are threatening to protest and close down Broadlands Road and the N2 if the channel along Broadlands Road is not cleared by the City of Cape Town. The residents claim the channel was last cleared last year, resulting in water flooding their houses after rainfall. With winter fast-approaching, this is again a concern for the locals.“We use this road when walking to the taxis to work and it smells awful,” said a furious Xolelwa Mkile. “We are being disrespected by the municipality and we will respond with the only language they seem to understand: protest!”Rubble clogs the channel, blocking the water from flowing, but Mkile denies all the rubble comes from Pholile. “This is a main road and people often come to dump rubbish here,” she pointed out. “Some rubbish is blown here by the wind, so it is wrong to assume that it’s the people of Lwandle who dump this rubbish.” Nontlantla Kati-kati told City Vision that if the municipality did its job, there wouldn’t be a problem. “They are not coming here to clear this channel like they do in other surrounding areas,” she said. “We have been writing to the municipal manager asking for them to attend to this matter, but we have been ignored and now we have to escalate the matter.”Residents say they are giving the City until the end of the week to address the matter; if nothing is done they will take to the streets. Anda Ntsodo, Mayoral Committee member for Area East, said: “We note the residents’ concerns and respect the public’s right to protest or picket as long as it is done peacefully.” He explained that the channel is normally cleaned four times a year, subject to budget and capacity availability, and also depending on the volume of complaints received that relate to illegal dumping in the channels. “According to our records, the most recent clean-up by the Roads and Stormwater Department was conducted in January,” Ntsodo said. “During these clean-up operations, items such as rubble, debris, litter and sometimes even furniture, are removed from the channel.” He implored the community to dispose of their refuse appropriately and not to dump it in the channels, sewer and storm water systems. “We provide a reliable refuse collection service in informal and formal areas. If one wheelie bin is not sufficient for the volume of refuse being generated at a property, we urge the ratepayer to apply for a second wheelie bin,” Ntsodo added.He could not confirm whether the City would clean the channel to avoid protest action.