Questions about water quality

The open vlei canal.

Dane Herrington

The open vlei canal which runs parallel to the Bayside and Table View shopping centres is in an unsatisfactory state.

I am a homeless man, who has visited Table View several times over the past seven years, and I have not had to put up with the unhealthy condition and state of the vlei as it is at this moment in time.

I park my car in the parking area at the Table View shopping centre quite regularly. The odours that one gets are totally repugnant. The vlei is a breeding ground for disease and flies.

The vlei has been in a rapid state of decline for months now, and the City of Cape Town has simply ignored the situation and has neglected the vlei to this state, as can be seen in the accompanying photographs.

I am sure there have been many complaints from nearby residents.

I urgently request that this be taken up at the local residents’ forums and brought to the City’s attention.

* Marian Nieuwoudt, mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment, responds:

The City can confirm that the water quality in the Table Bay Nature Reserve is sampled and tested monthly.

That said, the photographs show the stormwater canals, several hundred meters upstream from the actual nature reserve. However, the polluted water ultimately flows towards the reserve.

The watercourses flow into an extensive reed bed prior to it entering the reserve. This greatly assists with filtering the water and improving water quality.

The cumulative impact of these incidents and the continued negative impact of polluted water on our reserve and the natural filtering systems, such as this reed bed, however, remain of critical concern.

* Xanthea Limberg, mayoral committee member for water and waste also responds:

In terms of addressing the water quality, we’d first like to call on residents to please refrain from littering as this can end up in the vlei. Furthermore, we would like to remind all residents of the area that in terms of the wastewater and industrial effluent by-law, no person may discharge substances into a municipal sewer that will interfere with the free flow of sewage. This causes overflows that flow into the stormwater system and eventually into the lagoon.

We have identified the Montague Gardens and Phoenix areas as major contributors to the pollution due to the high prevalence of residents misusing the sewer system and polluting the stormwater system in these areas, and we are setting up a system to divert stormwater flows from these areas into the sewer to prevent pollution of the vlei. This work is expected to be completed by June 2019.

In addition we have increased the capacity of the sewer system in the 2017/18 financial year at a cost of over
R3 million.