Heavy storm and dumping cause flooded roads

Apricot Street in Bonteheuwel was flooded last week as heavy rains hit Cape Town.

Bonteheuwel residents were forced to remain indoors last week as most roads in the area were flooded due to heavy rains and dumping.

Apricot, Blombos, and Borriehout streets, and Bitterblaar Road in Bonteuhewel were all flooded. Last Wednesday June 30, municipal staff spent the day removing debris, household waste and litter from blocked drains. In Apricot Street, a large rock was found in the drain.

This, Bonteheuwel ward councillor Angus McKenzie said, was one of the biggest contributors to the flooded roads besides the drainage system’s inability to cope with much rainfall.

Illegal dumping remained a big problem in his ward and elsewhere in the city, he said.

“In May this year, the City sent out teams to clean all drainage systems as they prepared for heavy rainfall during the winter season, but the rainfall we’ve had was just too much for the system, and the level of dumping did not help,” he said.

A flooded Blombos Street in Bonteheuwel

Bonteheuwel resident Lyna Benjamin said she had to put on boots when leaving her home. The flooding in the area was the same every winter, she said.

“There are huge puddles of water everywhere, and you have to drive slowly through it. Some people can’t get out of their homes in Bitterblaar the water is at their doorstep,” she said.

Another resident, Abie Clayton, said the City’s claim that illegal dumping caused drain blockages was untrue.

“The issue is the old pipes underneath the ground and the City needs to put in new pipes, but they don’t want to do that. The water will push sand and dirt into the road when it rains. Some of the drains are open, and all the dirt goes into the drains. There’s many drain covers with holes and the sand seeps through there,” he said.

Emergencies can be reported to the City’s public emergency communication centre by dialling 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 from a cellphone.

The refuse removed from the drain in Apricot Street Bonteheuwel.