Justin Ford, Muizenberg
I’m writing from Muizenberg – the suburb famed for its surfing beach and its filthy, neglected and broken sidewalks, not to mention the stench of rotting drains in the vicinity of restaurants and tourist-thronged Surfer’s Corner and the Village.
Likewise, on Main Road in the Kirstenhof area, a much-beloved charitable organisation that assists the rural community – and is entirely reliant on the generosity of Capetonians for donations and support – has dangerously deficient pavement ramps to its parking lot.
Already this year alone, two patrons of the charity have had their tyres blown while entering the parking lot.
In recent years, several other patrons, including a family member, have experienced similar damage.
This is distressing and costly for the patrons – who will likely never return to support the charity – and highly embarrassing for the staff and volunteers of the charity.
Anyone living on premises run by an absentee slum-landlord knows how frustrating it is to have one’s complaints responded to with a dismissive “If you don’t like it, leave. Pay up and pay on time or you’ll be booted out!”
That’s precisely how concerned residents of Muizenberg and the South Peninsula are treated by their slum-landlord City council.
This same council makes zero attempt to maintain the city’s public infrastructure and amenities in Muizenberg and refuses to fix the vehicle access ramps of the Main Road charity.
When residents are pro-active and try to maintain the infrastructure themselves they are stymied by the council (“Zandvlei park frustration,” False Bay Echo, April 18).
One wonders where the monies from our ever-increasing rates go?
When casting your vote, are you voting for the same entity that treats you, the resident and ratepayer, with contempt? Rewarding them with your vote makes you culpable for their negligence.
Please consider your vote carefully: there are parties that propose direct democracy, which will give power to the local community and ensure that your rates are invested locally.
Ward councillor Aimee Kuhl responds:
Dear Echo readers, my gratitude goes out to all the active residents in the south who play their part in reporting faults to the City. This ensures the timeous deployment of our ground teams and I encourage everyone to log requests at www.capetown.gov.za/City-Connect/request-a-service
The issues at Muizenberg Beach have been brought to the sub-council’s attention and have been escalated to the relevant department. I fully understand how frustrating these issues are. In a City as large as ours, systems of water reticulation and sewage are complex and often require specialised and sustained intervention especially to deal with the added pressures of population growth. So please bear with us.
It is important to note that regular cleansing and repairs do take place at this popular and well-visited beach. Should any logged, requests not be resolved within a week citizens are welcome to forward the reference number and basic outline of the problem for escalation to my office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 062 873 2894.
I was delighted to get a circular in my post box in January to say Kalk Bay was now part of the City of Cape Town’s free kerb-side recycling collection service.
Sadly, I learn months later that it was all a mistake. There will be no more recycling collection.
I thought you might like to inform your Kalk Bay readers, so they don’t, like me and many other residents, continue to put their recycling on the pavement for collection on Mondays. From the end of April, it will go nowhere.
It worked well for a few months. Then in April I noticed that the bags of recycling were not always collected on Mondays but later in the week.
I phoned Wasteplan, the City’s service provider, to find out if the collection date had changed. They referred me to another service provider, Just-Breeze, who told me that Kalk Bay was not in fact part of the programme, and the notices to residents had been distributed in error. “But,” I said to Jerome, who took the call, “The truck has been collecting the recycling for months, so how could the circular have been a mistake?”
He said once the mistake had been made they thought they had better collect the recycling from Kalk Bay for a while but had since told the ward councillor and the ratepayers’ association that the programme would no longer operate in Kalk Bay.
Judging by the number of bags left on the pavement today, some of which I photographed, there are many people who do not know this.
It’s a pity the City does not include Kalk Bay – or the whole of Cape Town.
I have been recycling for decades, and find it fairly easy to get rid of the glass and paper, but it is a hassle, and for some items, impossible, to find places to recycle the masses of other packaging. I usually store it up until I visit family in Pinelands where the programme does operate. Not everyone has that option.
The Western Cape government put out a climate change document in 2018 in which they say recycling cans and metal saves about 95% of the energy needed to make them new; recycling paper requires 40% less energy and 30% less water compared to manufacturing new paper; recycling plastic saves 70% of the energy needed to make it new and recycling glass saves 30% of the energy to make new.
Our carbon emissions are rising. We are running out of holes in the ground to dump rubbish. The oceans are becoming choked with plastic. Government on all levels is always talking about the need to “mainstream” climate change practices into all spheres of administration and planning. Some of this is difficult to do, of course, but it must be pretty easy to “mainstream” recycling into the waste programme. The City has been running recycling pilot programmes for many years so must know how to do it by now, so why can’t it be implemented throughout Cape Town?
I send this as I go to bring in my rain-sodden recycling bag, torn open by “freelance” recyclers, and find a place to dry out the wet cardboard and paper and start again.
Xanthea Limberg, Mayoral committee member for water and waste, responds:
An error occurred in terms of the scope of the area to be serviced by the contractor as part of this programme.
The tender specifications are precise in terms of which portions/suburbs receive a recycling service. The company contracted to provide a dry recycling service erroneously extended the service beyond the boundary specified in the approved tender specifications. Therefore, the service had to be temporarily halted.
The contractor has been advised to inspect the area for any recycling in clear bags that are still being placed out and to collect these bags. However, no replacement bags will be issued. The current contract terminates at the end of September this year.
The new tender for the collection of dry recycling has been advertised and it includes the suburbs of Masiphumelele, Kalk Bay, St James and Muizenberg.
Residents are advised that participation in waste minimisation and recycling is not restricted to only the collection service.
The City also has a network of drop-off facilities where residents are encouraged to drop off their recycling. The two facilities in the area are in Simon’s Town and Kommetjie.
We would like to thank residents for being active citizens and playing their part in reducing their carbon footprint. The City is exploring a range of waste diversion opportunities and one of these is the home composting programme.
Organic waste is the biggest source of methane gas when landfilled, which is a huge contributor to carbon emissions that damage our environment. By implementing the simple intervention of placing fruit, vegetable and soft garden waste into a composting space instead of into the bin, the damaging effects of methane from landfill is reduced and residents are soon able to see the positive impact of rich compost on their private green spaces.
The programme is being rolled out in phases by area and residents of Kalk Bay, Lakeside, Muizenberg, Marina Da Gama and Vrygrond are invited to apply for their own container for collection on Monday and Wednesday May 13 and 15 at the Muizenberg civic centre, 1 Beach Road.
The City wishes to apologise for the confusion and inconvenience caused.