Lagoon Beach a dump

Peter Walsh, the chairperson of the Milnerton Central Residents’ Association, addressing the residents in attendance.

The meeting was held on Thursday July 6 at the Milnerton Golf Club and attended by more than 100 people. The aim of the meeting was also a call to action for more public participation by the residents.

The overall mandate of the MCRA is to promote and safeguard the interests of ratepayers and occupiers of fixed property.

Mr Walsh started by outlining the problems faced by the community, mentioning the key issues that needed fixing.

“We have a few relationships that I feel are broken in the community. SAPS is broken and we can’t change that. SAPS is not going to come to our rescue and give us a secure community to live in,” he said.

This is why public participation by the residents is vital, he said.

Mr Walsh added that leadership started in the community you lived in. “We need our own plan to ensure safety in the community.”

Another big issue for the area is the amount of waste being dumped at Lagoon Beach.

Residents are not happy about the litter and waste in the area.

“If you take your kids for a walk down to the beach, you’re basically walking through a toilet. We have to fix Joe Slovo and the infrastructure in this area. We need Sub-council 3 and 15 to work with us so we can fix the problems,” said Mr Walsh.

Residents asked Ward 4 councillor Dr Joy McCarthy what the City was doing to solve the issue of the waste in the area and the horrible smell that it came with.

There are areas which are difficult to walk through and Caroline Marx of the MCRA said the main cause was the stormwater drain that flowed from Joe Slovo, through Phoenix and ended up in the lagoon.

Dr McCarthy said they had been hard at work to solve these issues.

“We have been at it since 2013 but we have not had much success. Joe Slovo has expanded and a large percent of the people living there are backyarders or people living in shacks. These people often do not have proper sanitation. Some of the people in Joe Slovo don’t have sanitation and no refuse removal and of course everything now goes down the stormwater drain. Until we can solve the issue of accommodation in those areas, we won’t be able to change what is happening with the waste,” said Ms McCarthy.

Everyone was in agreement that it wouldn’t be an easy task for the City to help with the housing crisis and thus solving the problem of the waste in the Joe Slovo, Phoenix and Milnerton areas.

This is where the public participation comes into play – if people work with City, police and government as a whole, a lot more issues can be addressed and solved.

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