KEEP OUR BEACHES CLEAN
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.