Milnerton Lagoon was once used for baptisms and was a source of income for fishermen, but pollution there means those days are now gone, says Caroline Marx, the deputy chairwoman of the Milnerton Central Ratepayers’ Association.
Instead the lagoon had now become a blight on the community, lowering property values and hurting businesses that had relied on the tourism rands it had once generated, said Ms Marx at the association’s annual general meeting, at the Milnerton Golf Club, on Monday November 28.
About 50 residents attended the meeting, where new committee members were to be nominated, but with no new members signing up, the current committee was re-elected for another term.
Bouwe van der Eems, the MCRA’s chairman, said that perhaps residents thought the association would take up too much personal time, but that was not the case and members need only do what they could without impacting their lives.
“We need more committee members to support our membership drive,” he said.
Discussing the ongoing pollution problem at the lagoon, Ms Marx said sewage-related failures had destroyed its ecosystem and left a foul stench hanging over the area.
Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis had set up a task team to work on long-term and short-term solutions to restore the lagoon, but residents should not give up on reporting sewage spills, said Ms Marx.
Ward councillor Anthony Benadie was at the meeting and commended Ms Marx for her efforts.
It had been through “civil pressure” that the City and Mr Hill-Lewis had set up the task team, he said.
“Do not stop. Residents, do not give up; we can all do this together. And when my term is over in this community, we can all look back and say Milnerton is a much better place than it was years ago,” he said.
The meeting also heard about plans to take the City and developers to court over boarding houses popping up in the area (“Civics threaten to take City, developers to court,” Tabletalk, October 26).
The MCRA’s land-use portfolio members Colin Ridley and Stuart Hofmeyr said the association had managed to get pro-bono assistance from an attorney.
But Mr Ridley and Mr Hofmeyr said more residents needed to get involved, join the MCRA, and make their contributions so the association could get more legal assistance with other issues affecting the area.
The association’s financial report for September 2021 to November 1 this year shows R5244 was coming in monthly from membership fees while expenditure for that period was R10 725.
To contribute to the legal fees and membership fees of the MCRA, visit www.mcra.org.za