Racing causes stress

Hendrik Hofmeyr,
Sunset Beach

I really enjoy Tabletalk, and have just one bone to pick with your otherwise excellent publication, which has often spoken out strongly on environmental issues.

Unfortunately, your enthusiastic support for and promotion of the noise and pollution generated at Killarney does not accord well with this stance (“Petrolheads thrilled at StreetFest”, Tabletalk sport, January 8).

The wanton consumption of fossil fuels and rubber tyres, and the unacceptable levels of noise pollution are diametrically opposed to any editorial policy that professes an iota of environmental awareness.

Your correspondent talks in glowing terms of the noise and the tyre smoke, the “huge engine sounds,’”the screaming turbocharged four-cylinder engines, howling sixes, and thundering sevens”.

I live on the R27, more than four kilometres from the racecourse, but on race days the roar from the racecourse, even inside my house with all windows closed, is unbelievable. The level of noise from motorcycles racing on the R27 is bad enough on any given day, but on event days reaches stratospheric levels.

I find it reprehensible that a tiny minority of 6 000 “petrolheads” is allowed to hold hundreds of thousands of residents to ransom in this way, not to mention the effects on the nature reserve at Rietvlei.

According to the American Psychological Association, chronic stress is linked to the six leading causes of death, and noise pollution is one of the major causes of stress in both humans and animals.

Not only is the City of Cape Town doing absolutely nothing about this dangerous, polluting and stress-inducing behaviour, is also planning to extend the course at Killarney, hoping to attract more of these undesirable activities to our area, in a misguided attempt to dissuade drag racing on public roads.

Promoting and glamorising drag racing will only draw more and more people into this activity, and this will lead to an increase in street racing and all its attendant evils.

So please wake up, JP Smith, City of Cape Town and Tabletalk and start doing the right thing!

Richard Bosman, executive director for safety and security, City of Cape Town, responds: When processing permits for events held at Killarney Raceway, the City invites the ratepayers’ association (on behalf of residents), ward councillors and the ward committees to comment on planned events before permits are finalised.

There has never been an objection based on noise pollution emanating from events.