Council accused of ‘still failing’ locals

2017-08-08 06:01

A second directive, stating the City of Cape Town is failing to provide service delivery in Masiphumelele, has been issued by provincial government.

The first directive was issued in January following a site inspection (“City told to do job”, People’s Post, 7 February). According to the first directive, the City was found to have caused “significant pollution and/or degradation to the environment, which endangers the health and wellbeing” of Masiphumelele residents.

In response to provincial government, issued two weeks later, City officials said they had already undertaken some of the measures directed and was in the process of doing the rest (“City irked at shaming”, People’s Post, 21 February).

“However, despite compliance having been confirmed shortly after the directive was issued, the City has decided to file an appeal against the directive as it remains in place and has not been formally withdrawn even though compliance has been confirmed,” Xanthea Limberg, Mayco member for informal settlements, water and waste services and energy, previously told People’s Post.

The provincial department of environmental affairs issued an acknowledgement of the City’s response a few days later, stating the “City has complied with the requirements” and the “file will be closed”, Limberg said.

A new law enforcement directive has now been issued by the provincial department, following “numerous complaints from members of the public and interest groups regarding unhygienic conditions in the Masiphumelele township” and two site inspections in July.

The directive states the City has “failed to provide adequate toilet, ablution, washing and stormwater management facilities or proper solid waste management services resulting in unhygienic conditions and significant pollution and degradation of the environment in ­Masiphumelele”.

In the latest directive, the City is ordered to undertake a thorough cleanup of the stormwater canals, remove stockpiles of solid waste, continue with the cleanup operations and diligently continue with regular maintenance of toilets, washing facilities, standpipes, canals and other storm- and wastewater infrastructure and promptly fix reported problems.

The City has also been directed to submit a schedule with time­frames for the cleanup operations.

“With regards to repairing toilets, this is ongoing,” says Limberg. “The City is currently busy with a process of engagement with community leaders regarding the rollout of additional portable flush toilets. It is anticipated that the rollout of the toilets will be completed by Friday 25 August. Additional toilets are only rolled out if requested.”

The new directive states the City should dredge the canals more frequently, adds Brett Herron, Mayco member for transport and urban development.

“Dredging is currently carried out quarterly or more frequently if budget allows. A review of frequency of dredging would have to be undertaken in the context of competing stormwater maintenance requirements in all areas of the city. It should be noted that dredging operations are rendered difficult by the density of human settlement in the area. We are currently looking at the option of deepening the outlet channels into the wetlands by making use of the new amphibious excavator. Cleaning is taking place seven days per week,” he says.

“The City is currently undertaking a pilot project to divert stormwater from these canals into the sewerage system. The plan for this pilot has just been completed and costing for this project is ­underway.”

The City intends to appeal the second directive as well, says ­Limberg.


Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.