Clean up the pass
MORE than 100 people have signed an online petition this week to request that Buffalo City Metro clean up and maintain the Buffalo Pass. They are also requesting BCM to provide a convenient facility for people to dump their refuse legally.
GO! news editor Ethienne Arends took “the scenic route” recently but found the once-stunning views tarnished by illegally dumped household rubbish, building rubble and loads of garden refuse.
On the “Fix Our Broken City” Facebook page, Neil Smith, who is the page’s administrator, reported that raw sewage was also being dumped there.
In a letter sent to BCM officials, Smith cited that the amounts of rubbish could adversely affect the wildlife through the ingestion of plastic.
“This is a tourist gem which has been allowed to fall into this disgusting state. Water flow during rainfall washes these pollutants into river systems [which can kill fish and animals drinking this water],” he said.
The Buffalo Pass in East London is one of the most beautiful forested areas in the Eastern Cape and famous for the umtiza tree and the Umtiza Nature Reserve which is home to endangered species such as the blue duiker and African finfoot.
“The Umtiza listerana grows in very few and limited places, the number of which I can count on one hand. People visit this forest just to see this tree,” Smith explained.
“I am, quite frankly, shocked that this level of mismanagement in this area has been allowed to occur, almost to the point of no return. I also cannot understand how we can, as a city, advertise on radio about our city as a wonderful tourist destination, while in the background these beautiful areas are left to deteriorate.”
He added they would like to see some sort of plan with deadlines to rectify this situation and mechanisms put in place to ensure that this remains so.
“It would also be nice to see some plans put in place in cooperation with the department of environmental affairs to restore this area to a special place for tourism and the walking trails re-established.”
Residents had previously blamed the spike in illegal dumping on the lack of proper landfill and dump sites around the city, especially after the Second Creek site closed a few years ago.
Buffalo City Metro spokesman Samkelo Ngwenya had not responded to questions sent to him at the time of going to print.