Public health hazard

Dumping in and around the canal is a constant issue.

Hazendal residents say a pile of rubbish cleared from a canal has become a public health hazard after the City failed to collect it.

According to Hazendal resident Graham Dirks, Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) workers dumped the rubbish on the corner of 12th Avenue and Jan Smuts Drive, on Monday October 21, after pulling it from the Jan Smuts canal, which runs along the Jan Smuts Drive in Athlone and the N2.

The mound gave off a foul stench and had attracted bugs and rats, he said.

“There are people who stand there and wait for their lifts in the morning, but now they must stand somewhere else because of the smell. It is disgusting and it is really unhealthy for the residents,” Mr Dirks said.

“On the day I asked the workers why they were dumping it there and they said that the City’s truck was to collect it that same day but it has been more than three weeks.”

Mr Dirks, who has lived in the area for 59 years, said dumping in Hazendal was a continuous problem.

“People dump all sorts of things on any vacant piece of land in Hazendal and in that canal, even lounge suites and other furniture. It gets cleaned regularly, but the minute it is cleaned, it gets dumped in again. I have contacted the City about this, and they have yet to do something about it.”

Athlone ward councillor Rashid Adams said the rubbish had not been there for more than a week.

He said he had reported it to City’s roads and stormwater department and was waiting for a response.

City spokeswoman Lisle Brown said: “The City’s water and sanitation department will investigate and feedback will be provided. The teams on the ground were unable to investigate and report back within the deadline provided.”

“On the day I asked the workers why they were dumping it there and they said that the City’s truck was to collect it that same day but it has been more than three weeks.”

Mr Dirks, who has lived in the area for 59 years, said dumping in Hazendal was an ongoing problem.

“People dump all sorts of things on any vacant piece of land in Hazendal and in that canal, even lounge suites and other furniture. It gets cleaned regularly, but the minute it is cleaned, it gets dumped in again. I have contacted the City about this, and they have yet to do something about it.”

Athlone ward councillor Rashid Adams said the rubbish had not been there for more than a week.

He said he had reported it to City’s roads and stormwater department and was waiting for a response.

According to the City of Cape Town’s spokesperson, Luthando Tyhalibongo, the transport department hired trucks and a loader to remove the dirt at the site and other sites as well on Monday October 28 but there been delays. He said that work at the canal commenced on Monday.

“Please note that silt needs to stand or rest for approximately two weeks for the water to dry out so that the silt can be removed.”