Retention pond a risk to safety

The stormwater detention pond as viewed from the home of Fransina Lewendal.

A broken fence around a stormwater retention pond near Ocean View’s Mountain View housing complex is a threat to public safety.

In recent weeks, several people have been injured in the pond while using it as a short cut.

Mountain View resident Fransina Lewendal said children were able to slip through holes in the fence, which she said had been vandalised, to play on the pond’s steep embankments.

A woman had landed up at False Bay Hospital on Saturday February 24 after falling in the pond, she said.

A few weeks earlier an elderly woman had broken her hip, two small children had been injured falling down the embankment, and a toddler had almost drowned in the stagnant water.

With winter approaching, Ms Lewendal fears the pond could fill water and become the scene of a child’s drowning. It also wasn’t cleaned regularly and had attracted litter and illegal dumping.

“It is unhygienic and it’s right on our doorstep,” she said.

The City had replaced the fence recently, but paramedics had to cut it to reach the woman with the broken leg.

“The paramedics replaced it after attending to the woman but since then it has been cut again,” she said.

Ward councillor Simon Liell-Cock said vandalism in Ocean View and across the City was a big problem and exposed the public to hazards. And repairs drained money from other essential services.

He said the City’s roads and stormwater department’s limited budget couldn’t hope to keep pace with relentless vandalism, littering and illegal dumping.

“I have escalated the issue to the local roads team and will carry out a site visit to determine whether there is a way to design a more effective solution around the short cut,” Mr Liell-Cock said.

Area south Mayco member Eddie Andrews said the pond should be off limits to the public.

The facility, he said, could be converted into a dry pond that would let rainwater drain into the stormwater system without retaining it. Without the threat posed by a body of water, the gates could be left open. Mr Andrews said maintenance was last done on the pond in October. Litter was cleared on an ad hoc basis.