Dirty canal causes a stink

Piles of dirt strewn on the sides of the canal in Grassy Park.

Residents in Sandpiper Avenue, Grassy Park, say they have had to endure a stench coming from the dirty canal off 6th Avenue for more than two months.

The residents said they had been liaising with Ward 67 councillor Gerry Gordon after the canal was cleaned by the City in November last year.

However, the rubbish had been placed in heaps on the sides of the canal but officials failed to remove it.

Since then, the residents in Sandpiper Avenue, as well as commuters who use the pathway along the canal to walk to school and work have had to endure flies, rodents, mosquitoes and cockroaches as well as the foul smell.

A putrid smell comes off the canal.

Vanessa Jacobs, 75, said it is “pathetic” that they have to live this way.

She said she had lodged a complaint to Ms Gordon who escalated the query last month, but, so far, she said, nothing has been done. “The canal is in a pathetic condition, the smell is terrible coming right into my bedroom. We complained many times but nothing was done. All the rubbish lying by my bedroom cannot go on like this,” said Ms Jacobs.

The pathway next to the dirty canal is used by children to get to and from school.

Delmaine Jacobs, said in mid November, the City cleaned the canal with tractors and made piles of dirt on each corner. Usually the dirt will be picked up the next day or week. They piled up the dirt but no one came to collect the dirt. Dirt (attracts) rodent activities, cockroaches etc,” said Mr Jacobs.

“A horrible smell is in the air, it looks dirty and massive frogs are jumping over into our yard,” said Mr Jacobs.

Virginia Koelenberg, 76, who stays right next to the canal, said she has a “major problem”.

“I don’t think it’s fair, it smells terrible. Healthwise, it is not good and if we get visitors, I feel ashamed of the smell and dirt. If I look outside my bedroom window, I see a heap of sand and dirt. I hope this problem will be addressed soon.”

Clive Petersen said he has a six-month-old baby who is coughing and sneezing and they fear the dirt and smell could be the cause of it.

Sidney Jacobs, chairperson of Friends of Zeekoevlei and Rondevlei, said they are aware of the dirty canal and they sometimes volunteer to clean up the canals themselves. He said they have also requested a clean-up from the City. “We have highlighted that badly littered section to the correct section.”

The City did not respond to Southern Mail by the time the publication went to print.