A Muizenberg woman saw the low water level at Zandvlei Estuary as a rare chance to clean up the rubbish clogging its banks.
Realising the rubbish was more accessible, Janine Versfeld hired Wiseman Sakaza and his friend, Prince Dzineso, for three days, to clean the area.
Ms Versfeld said she had opted to pay for the work herself because time had seemed to be a factor, as the water level might have risen and put the rubbish out of reach.
Mr Sakaza said he was glad to have the work and be doing something good for the environment. He and Mr Dzineso filled 25 bags of rubbish and plastics from a 20m section of the bank.
Another resident paid the men for another day to clear the east bank of the Zandvlei Nature Reserve.
“Last week, we took more than a ton of rubbish away for the price of eating out,” said Ms Versfeld. “We can stop the toxic micro-plastics from entering the ocean, the fish – and eventually – our own stomachs,” she said.
Kevin Rack, of the Muizenberg Lakeside Residents’ Association, encouraged people to take bags with them when walking their dogs to collect micro-plastics at the same time.
To make a real dent he suggests taking bags, gloves, pool scoop nets, rakes and spades.
There is a Great Zandvlei Cean-Up planned for the near future when the weather is clear. Check the Facebook page for Muizenberg Beach Clean-up with MID and Environmental Warriors for details.