Residents accuse City of neglect

The City of Cape Town has confirmed E.coli counts at the mouth of Diep River Estuary are “above recommended limits”, posing an increased health risk to the public.

Suzette Little, the mayoral committee member for area north, said the City had posted warning signs in the area because direct contact with the water “carries increased risk of infection, especially gastroenteritis”.

This comes after residents complained about foul smells and litter in the Lagoon Beach area following winter storm surges.

Lagoon Beach resident Estelle Mathee accused the City of neglecting areas where it felt communities could look after themselves.

“I feel that the City doesn’t service the old previously ‘white areas’ the way that they should. They neglect these areas because they feel those people have money but they don’t think about the fact that a lot of these people are retired older citizens and can’t walk around every day trying to pick up the rubbish,” said Ms Mathee.

Earlier this month the Milnerton Central Ratepayers’ Association annual general meeting heard that the E.coli levels were ten times the limit permitted (“Lagoon Beach a dump” Tabletalk July 12).

Ms Little said the City knew of the problems at Lagoon Beach and the complaints from residents.

“Large amounts of litter were washed out to sea and onto the shores of the lagoon via the rivers after recent storms – a normal occurrence after winter rain. This serves as a reminder of the effects of illegal dumping and we appeal to residents and businesses to please work with us to keep our beaches clean.”

The smell was caused by the decomposing kelp that had washed ashore.

Ms Little said the kelp while smelly helped to raise beach levels and slow erosion.

The City had appointed permanent cleansing staff to work in the area seven days a week.

“We have identified the Montague Gardens and Phoenix areas as major contributors to the pollution of the lagoons, and have developed preliminary plans to intercept and treat/divert water from the two main canals serving these areas.

“Implementation will, however, depend on available budget,” said Ms Little.