The City has fined the developer of a retirement village in Fish Hoek’s old kaolin mine, after its dust emissions exceeded legal limits for a second time.
Meanwhile, Sun Valley residents are trying to muster support from surrounding neighbourhoods in their battle against the Amdec Group, the developer of the Evergreen Lifestyle Village.
They say the dust has plagued them since 2015 and they can’t put up with it for another two years while Amdec finishes the project.
In December, the City served Amdec with a non-compliance notice after dust emissions at the site exceeded national regulations for November (“Village in dust bust,” Echo December 14 2017).
Area south Mayco member, Eddie Andrews said Amdec had drawn up a new dust-management plan after that but it seemed inefective because the company had again been found non-compliant – this time for January – and fined R4 000.
The City would continue to hold Amdec accountable and prosecute it if necessary, he said.
“For this action to be initiated we would need formal sworn affidavits from residents stating how the dust is impacting them, giving specific dates and times and individuals must be prepared to testify in court,” he said.
But Evergreen’s development director, Cobus Bedeker, blamed the drought for the company’s dust problem. The lack of rain had caused very dry soil conditions, so more soil was whipped up by the wind. Even light wind was a problem.
The revised dust plan, he said, was now calibrated for severe or catastrophic drought conditions.
A team of dust-management consultants and contractors met weekly to stay on top of the problem and air-quality control officers were assigned to each contractor checking they stuck to the dust plan.
“The improved dust management plan is already indicating positive results for February 2018 and will ensure effective dust management during the severe drought conditions in Cape Town,” he said.
But Sun Valley resident Peter Lombard said there had been no improvement in the dust fall since January.
The dust was so bad, he said, it was causing electrical appliances, such as phones, keyboards, CD players and printers, to go on the blink.
He moved to Sun Valley two years ago but said he’d been unable to paint his house because of the dust.
Many residents, he said, were coughing and had had dry eyes and breathing difficulties because of the dust.
Mr Lombard said residents couldn’t be expected to put their lives on hold for the next two years. “All we want is a dust-free environment,” he said.
Mr Bedeker said dust was always an issue in construction and he said the Kommetjie Road upgrade next to the Evergreen development could also be adding to the dust.
Mr Andrews said the City had not yet received the February 2018 dust-fall results.
He said the City’s air quality management department had told Amdec
it would be fined for every non
Residents who wish to complete an affidavit can contact Mr Lombard at 021 785 6713.