Paddle power

Now in its seventh year, the event began with just four brave paddlers who attempted to navigate their way through polluted waters that were once clogged with weed and solid litter. Much has improved since then thanks to the work of the City’s Kader Asmal programme, a public works initiative involving over 100 workers who clear and clean these waterways daily, and also citizens who continue to lobby for further improvements.

Dr Kevin Winter, from UCT’s Environmental and Geographical Science Department and one of the founders of the Peninsula Paddle, said the event focuses attention on two key messages: “The health of the city as seen in its waterways and that we are all connected to the waterways. Our waterways could be the catalyst for transforming the spatial plan of the city. In the meanwhile, the pressing issue is to ensure that these waterways are not neglected or else we may lose these gems that are the green lungs of the city,” said Dr Winter.

The event starts at 7.30am at the mouth of Zandvlei and finishes at 4pm at the Milnerton Canoe Club on Woodbridge Island.

If you are concerned about the tons of solid litter and plastics entering the marine environment from our waterways, then meet on the day at 2.30pm at the mouth of the Milnerton Lagoon where you can help collect the plastics that are strewn all over the beach. Your collection will be placed into the belly of a huge wire-mesh whale that will be erected next to the lagoon. Look out for the Friends of the Liesbeek banner where you can collect a bag and some instructions.