Fences up to keep dirt out of Zeekoevlei

Sidney Jacobs, chairperson of Friends of Zeekoevlei and Rondevlei (FOZR) said they had 14 people working over the weekend as the weir is closing today Wednesday July 27, and then they cannot access the dirt.

City Water and Sanitation’s Catchment Management Department is busy installing two new litter fences that will help prevent waste entering the Zeekoevlei via the Big and Little Lotus rivers.

This happened after Friends of Zeekoevlei and Rondevlei (FOZR) had been asking the City of Cape Town to replace two dilapidated litter fences at the vlei for more than two years.

Sidney Jacobs, chairperson of FOZR said after many site meetings with all role players and “a couple of false starts” the installation of the fences finally got under way.

The one at the Little Lotus river has been completed while the one at the Big Lotus is being installed.

“It has been a frustrating journey and the amount of litter, mattresses, carcasses, TV backs, and more that has gone into the vlei is totally unacceptable,” he said.

Mr Jacobs added: “And to date, the City has not deployed any labour into the vlei body to remove the exposed litter while the water has been drained significantly.

“Non-profit organisations such as Friends of Zeekoevlei and Rondevlei (FOZR), Litterboom and Pristine Earth have to make plans to ensure that tons of dirt are taken out at our expense.”

These organisations, he said, “remove litter from the fences and preventative pipes fitted across the rivers regularly but we want to stress that the basic function of maintaining the waterways upstream is the primary responsibility of the City”.

“As usual, we will do what it takes to assist to save our environment,” said Mr Jacobs.

He advised the community to “think hard about where the plastic, old chair, mattress, dumped into the river actually lands up. We need to take full responsibility for our environment surviving, for our kids sake.”

According to mayoral committee member for water and sanitation, Zahid Badroodien, the City is investing about R500 000 in the two new litter fences, the installation of which is expected to be completed by Friday July 29.

“These fences will help keep litter out of Zeekoevlei. Waste enters the Big Lotus River at various points as it passes through Gugulethu, Philippi Horticultural Area, Hanover Park, Ottery, Lotus River, Pelican Park and Grassy Park. The Little Lotus River starts at Ottery.

“Thank you for the support from the Friends of Zeekoevlei who help us clean the litter fences once they have filled up with waste. Keeping our vleis and waterbodies clean is everyone’s business,” said Dr Badroodien.”