Residents of Milnerton have decided to fulfill their threat and take the City of Cape Town to court for its failure to address the water contamination at Lagoon Beach.
Milnerton Canoe Club chairperson Richard Allen said it was a unanimous decision at a meeting held a month ago at Milnerton Library with the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) representative, ratepayers associations and us. He added that there is a follow-up meeting today with Outa.
Among some of the concerns residents have are sewage spills, ageing infrastructure, rampant development and growing numbers of backyard dwellers.
According to Allen, there’s a stench over the entire Milnerton lagoon area, litter fallout on the beaches and health risks to beach-goers and residents have been contacting all the area representatives about the contamination.
The Canoe club chairperson said the health of the community is at stake as hundreds of kids will be swimming in the ‘safety’ of the lagoon during the holidays. He said the signs erected were useless to prevent this.
According to the City of Cape Town the vast majority of sewer overflows were caused by misuse of the system, rather than capacity constraints.
The City has identified Montague Gardens, Dunoon, Doornbach and Phoenix as major contributors to the pollution of the lagoons, and has developed preliminary plans to intercept and divert water from the two main canals serving these areas.
Residents in these areas don’t have anywhere to dispose of their grey water, so a ‘night bucket’ is used and emptied in the street, which then enters the Diep River via storm water drains.
Caroline Marx, from the environmental portfolio of Milnerton Central Residents Association, said she has asked for an urgent meeting with the mayor as she has had little feedback from a previous meeting with Mayco member for water and waste Xanthea Limberg.
Outa chief executive Wayne Duvenage said they were exploring options to work with, help and empower local residents’ associations around the country to challenge the shortcomings of local government.
More: Cape Argus