Problems with dirty sand mounting in Manenberg

The dirty sand heaps on the field stretch all the way down Silverstream Road.

Heaps of dirty sand are worrying Manenberg residents as they say it is creating a breeding ground for rats, mice, and all sorts of insects.

The sand heaps are due to the City of Cape Town’s dam clean-up in Silverstream Road which happened three weeks ago according to residents.

Christine Schoeman, one of the Silverstream residents, said the sand was a breeding ground for rats and mice which ran into residents’ homes, and the dirty sand posed a health risk to the children who played in the sand.

“As much as you tell children not to play in the sand, they still do because they are inquisitive. Parents do try to take them away but they can’t always watch where the kids are playing, especially the children who are left at home with their grandparents when their parents are working,” she said.

The City of Cape Town’s spokesperson, Hayley van der Woude, said they had started removing the sand and rubble on Tuesday June 6 and that it would take about eight working days to remove all of the rubble if all went as planned.

“There was an unforeseen delay in acquiring a contractor for the removal of the rubble. The City apologises for the inconvenience caused and thanks residents for their patience.”

However, Ms Schoeman said it was not acceptable that they had had to wait so long as the health hazard increased by the day.

She said: “If this was another area, more affluent or their own areas, then they would have cleaned it up long ago.

“We have rights as well, why must we live like this?”

She said the City should develop the land because people often dumped rubbish on the open space and while the City did remove the dumping regularly, it remained a problem.

“They need to develop this area and give the teenagers something to do like a skate park such as the one in Hanover Park and Green Point. They don’t want to play in the parks with the small children. They have nothing to do and that’s why they get involved with gangsterism and drugs,” she said.

Ms Schoeman said she blamed Ward 45 councillor Bonita Jacobs for the area being neglected as the ward councillor should be the middle man between the City and the residents.

“We don’t even know how much was allocated to our ward or what they are using the money for. They hold meetings on the other side of Manenberg. How must we get there at night and risk our lives when they are shooting? We need transparency.”

She said while she didn’t expect to see Ms Jacobs every day, she expected her to know what the needs of the residents were.

“Our area needs to be developed. Something needs to happen to stop this continuous dumping.”

Ms Jacobs said in future she would plan community meetings for a Saturday during the day so that everyone was able to attend. She also said that her office was always open if residents had any complaints.

“We are in the process of finalising our ward allocation and this will be revealed to residents soon,” she said.

Ward 45 covers Manenberg (west of Duinefontein Road and the railway line, south of Klipfontein Road and east of Slanghoek Way, Hex Crescent, Tousberg Road, Duinefontein Road, Elsieskraal Road, Gonubie Road, Jordan Street, Ruimte Way, Lyne Road, Boyne Street and Vygekraal).

Ms Jacobs can be contacted on 021 823 9726, 021 444 0953, cellphone 084 740 3039 or email
Bonita.Jacobs@capetown.gov.za