Stop Domestic, Industrial & Medical Waste From Polluting Cape Town’s Rivers & Ocean

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The rivers and canals are the city's lifeblood and it is criminal that they should be permitted to be used as a cheap & convenient waste disposal system by city residents. Tons of Illegal dumping means that during heavy rains plastic, animal carcasses, TV's, hazardous medical waste such as syringes etc. wash down the river into the ocean, as well as ending up on our beaches.

At least eight citizen-led groups who are involved in regular clean-ups along these rivers, have observed the following statistics:

• 250 big black bags of waste is removed from Liesbeek River every month.

• The volume of 70 big black bags of waste flows down the Black River and into the sea every day.

• A small clean-up team in Muizenberg collects approx. 160 big bags full per month.

These rates are increasing every month. See more photographs here: 

The City's river cleaning efforts are few & far between. The problem is escalating out of control. Furthermore, it has become clear that small-scale localised clean-ups are not enough - these are simply the plasters on a big festering wound. We need the City to intervene with large-scale strategy and intervention. We call on the City of Cape Town to review and enforce existing bylaws and to set up a specialised unit dedicated to solving the problem.

Steps to be taken urgently:

1) Make cleaning , repair and maintenance of Cape Town's river and canal system an operational priority with an appropriate and sufficient budget.

2) Make keeping the rivers and canals clean a mandatory council obligation, using all available resources via:

i) Bobcats and cranes

ii) EPWP programme employees

iii) Installation, construction and maintenance of effective litter traps and nets where appropriate.

3) Prevent access to the canals for tippers and dumpers by installing appropriate fencing or bollards.

4) Install CCTV cameras at known dumping hotspots.

5) Employ the full force of the law to prosecute and punish offenders and impound vehicles, as per existing bylaws.

6) Provide adequate litter and refuse collection services for Cape Town's exploding and burgeoning population, particularly in informally-populated areas. 

7) Create a campaign to educate communities about the consequences of illegal dumping and river pollution.

8.) Lastly, but very importantly is to cover stormdrains in factory & hotspot areas from toxic illegal dumping.

Please sign and share this petition. Every voice counts!

To join our clean up teams in different areas join us on Facebook or Instagram, @plasticpollutionInitiative Cape Town