Cape Argus - - METRO - AZIZ HART­LEY

TESTS have shown con­tam­i­nants were found on beaches in False Bay, ac­cord­ing to two aca­demics. As the fes­tive sea­son rushes to­wards us and thou­sands of peo­ple are ex­pected to flock to the beaches, this is cause for con­cern.

As we re­port to­day, ma­rine life and beach­go­ers face grave dan­ger. Con­tam­i­na­tion of the wa­ter is the re­sult of a heav­ily pol­luted Kuils River flow­ing into the sea. This is be­cause mil­lions of litres of raw sewage found its way into the river. We have a very se­ri­ous prob­lem on our hands. UCT deputy di­rec­tor of En­vi­ron­men­tal Hu­man­i­ties Pro­fes­sor Les­ley Green sums it up when he says: “It’s a ter­ri­ble is­sue, False Bay is nearby and it’s go­ing to af­fect the health of peo­ple more broadly.”

Mayco mem­ber for wa­ter and waste ser­vices Xanthea Lim­berg says she looks for­ward to see­ing the re­sults of the tests. Given the grav­ity of the sit­u­a­tion, one would ex­pect more ur­gency. A lethar­gic ap­proach is not help­ful. Lim­berg says Cape Town boasts the high­est num­ber of blue flag beaches in the coun­try. This means ab­so­lutely noth­ing if the wa­ter in False Bay poses a threat to hu­man life. The ma­jor­ity of peo­ple us­ing False Bay beaches come from poor com­mu­ni­ties such as Khayelit­sha and Mitchells Plain.

They don’t have the means to travel to beaches else­where. The City has a re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure False Bay beaches are clean and safe. Fail­ure to com­pre­hend the cat­a­strophic con­se­quences of pol­luted beaches can­not be tol­er­ated. We call on the City au­thor­i­ties to ar­rest the prob­lem im­me­di­ately. Noth­ing less will do.


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