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Table View residents start petition for pollution nets

One of the storm water drain nets that was installed at Gansbaai in 2019 has seen excellent results.

One of the storm water drain nets that was installed at Gansbaai in 2019 has seen excellent results.

Published Mar 19, 2021


Cape Town - Table View residents have started a petition to have the City install storm water drain nets at the outlets of Bloubergstrand beach in a bid to curb marine pollution.

The petition which was started on Tuesday has already garnered more than 450 signatures.

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Garth Johnson, who started the petition, said the community was concerned by the huge amount of plastic, foil packaging and other trash that covered the beach. He said at first glance effects of pollution in Blouberg and other beaches seemed to not be a problem but when one gets close, the issue becomes larger.

“In the rockpools, high water line, on the sandy areas above the high water line, and in fact, everywhere you look, the trash is there. Not quite as bad as what is seen in other areas but still, the huge problem is that it all ends up in the bay,” he said.

Johnson said he came across a project in Hermanus where a large and sturdy net was firmly planted at the stormwater drain outlet to catch the trash washed down from the streets before it reached the ocean.

“The potential for Blouberg was immediately clear in my mind and I sent an email to the City and received a reply from the counsellor saying the matter would be proposed. I felt that it needed to be escalated, so in order to gauge support, I started a petition and contacted people. The idea is to use this support to make it clear that people cared about the situation on our beaches,” he said.

He said this was an ideal project for the City and Expanded Public Works Programme which is involved in cleaning the beaches of kelp each day.

“This may, with extra training, be expanded to include the erection of the nets as well as their maintenance. This becomes really important because the rainy season is around the corner,” Johnson said.

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Similar stormwater nets were placed in Gansbaai in 2019 which Dyer Island Conservation Trust project supporter Brenda Walters said produced excellent and frightening statistics of waste collected in just one year.

The project was done in partnership with the Overstrand Municipality.

“There are so many communities that need help with the stormwater nets, but they need to work in partnership with their municipalities to make it work. It's one thing to raise funds and buy them but for the nets to be installed and managed the municipality has to be part of it. There are however different limitations on different areas which one has to consider. It would be ideal if they could do it because it's working together that we can solve the pollution problem,” she said.

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Caroline Marx from the Milnerton Central Residents Association said all coastal areas faced similar challenges and that behavioural changes were needed.

“Netting litter traps on stormwater outlets could at least prevent the larger pieces of rubbish ending up on our beaches, unfortunately, they don't stop polluted water or smaller pieces of rubbish, micro-plastics. Sometimes they can tend to hide the problem by making it less visible. However, any reduction of rubbish entering our ocean would be a great step forward,” she said.

The City said they will respond today.

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Cape Argus

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