The City has been lashed over the poor, unhygienic conditions in Dunoon. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - The provincial Department of Local Government Environmental Affairs, Development and Planning has lashed the City for the appalling conditions in Dunoon.

In a pre-directive issued to the City by the province’s Environmental Law enforcement, it states that the City has failed to “adequately address the appalling unhygienic conditions in Dunoon, which is affecting the health and well-being of the residents and causing significant pollution and/degradation of the environment,” the pre-directive said.

The department said it intends to issue the City with a directive in terms of the National Environmental Management Act (Nema) which will compel the City to immediately repair all the blocked toilets in the area, by replacing faulty infrastructure and fixing blockages and leakages.

It must also provide toilets to accommodate all the inhabitants in the area, and provide an operational plan to deal with the waste management issues in and around the Dunoon Township such as the ad hoc illegal dumping sites. The department gave the City seven days to provide written representation as to why a directive should not be issued.

Greater Table View Action forum chairperson Karen Davis said she believes that the pre-directive is overdue. “The residents of Dunoon really live in appalling conditions and the City now needs to ensure their sanitation and water departments are brought up to scratch. While I do understand that the fact that they irresponsibly dump all kinds of things into the drains and this leads to blockages and damage to the pipes, education on these issues is key and a programme to educate the residents of the consequences of these actions is imperative," Davis said.

The City’s Mayco member for Water and Waste, Xanthea Limberg, said: “The densely populated suburb of Dunoon presents a set of very unique challenges to efficient service delivery. Chief among these is the rapid growth of the area and extremely high numbers of unauthorised structures being built.

“Many of these structures have been built illegally over the City’s manhole covers which mean that when a pipe becomes blocked, for instance, teams are not able to directly access the most appropriate manhole to clear it.”

There were valid reasons for having building regulations in place and this was one of them.

“The number one cause of the recurring sewer blockages/overflows in Dunoon is the dumping of inappropriate materials into the sewer system.”

Limberg said the City has a service delivery obligation but is not itself the cause of the pollution.

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Cape Argus