Tuesday, April 4, 2017


Dear Patricia de Lille, the Mayor of Cape Town,

          Sorry to have to repeat myself but you evidently ignored my previous requests to stop our City, yours and mine, from squandering millions more on a rubbish dump site closed 30 years ago.
          It was at about this time last year that the spend thrifts on your Council started the annual waste of money here that has so far seen something like R6-million of ratepayer’s cash being literally blown away.
May 2016 new nets

Jan 2017 nets buried and blown away
          So I am appealing to you once again to stop this misuse of our money on futile attempts to stabilise the sand dunes at Witsands, next to a popular surfing beach and boat launching slipway between Kommetjie and Scarborough not far from Cape Point.
Feb 2016 tons of sand dumped on exposed rubbish
May 2016 rubbish showing again where the sand had been
 dumped & flattened in Feb 2016
June 2016 more sand being dumped in the same place as
before because last lot had blown away
Feb 2017 back to square one where the sand shown in above
 pictures was dumped
March 2017 another section of the area immediately
          As you know all this money has been blown trying to ensure that what is left of the rubbish is covered with sand so that when the winter rains come it doesn’t get swept into the sea.
          Last year heavy earth moving equipment costing a fortune was used to shift the dunes around. They were then covered in a web of nets that were supposed to keep the sand in place in an area that is plagued by very strong winds.
          Well none of this worked. Today just about all the lines of nets have either been completely buried or flattened by the wind. And on huge sections of the 19 ha site the plastic and other non-biodegradable material that had been buried by the earth movers is now exposed because the nets failed to do the job they were designed for.  
August 2016 stream on edge of dump being deepened
Jan 2017 the place where the stream was
          When I first began making inquiries about the management of this site Johan van der Merwe, your Mayoral Committee Member responsible for Environmental Planning  told me that the wind blows the dunes around causing the waste to be expose and that the “wind netting will keep a more permanent sand ‘blanket’ and also reduce annual operating costs.”
          He also said that if the nets got buried they would be lifted from time to time so that they could continue to do the job they were intended to do. Well this virtually never happened, because if this had been done the nets would not be in the useless state they are now. 
          Please, please Patricia stop this terribly waste. It has been made even more of a scandal by the fact that a short distance away is the Black township of Masiphumelele which the City you head has clearly been neglecting.
          Why else would the Provincial Government, which like the City of Cape Town is also controlled by your party the Democratic Alliance (DA), have taken your Council to task for not ensuring that Masi’s refuse removal, toilet and other facilities were kept up to standard. The Province claimed that the City had let things slide to such an extend that there was a “significant danger to the health and well-being of the residents there.”
How far would R6-million have gone to alleviate this deplorable situation?
            Is it more important to spend massive amounts of money year after unsuccessfully trying to keep the sand in place at an old rubbish dump site, than to ensure that the environment in Masi is such that the people there can live reasonably well?
In much the same way as you and your Council refuse to accept that what has been going on at the dump is ineffective, I see Cape Town is appealing the Province's directive that you should pull up your socks, as it were, in the way you are administering Masi.
This kind of thing is just asking for trouble when the poor all over the place are protesting almost daily for better living conditions.
So I implore you to ensure that not a cent more is blown away at the Witsands dump. If money has been earmarked for this it will be far better to use it in Masi.
The pictures illustrate what a criminal waste this whole exercise has been.
Jon, who is not only a blogger but is also a Cape Town ratepayer who is very much interested in how his money is used – or SQUANDERED.
See also: municipal intelligence ; scandalous dumping ; city won't stop ; wasting money ; never ending .

P.S. Blue is the DA’s colour

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