I have written to and received a parliamentary reply from the Provincial Minister of Environmental Affairs, Anton Bredell, on the successes achieved to date following the issuing of the various directives to the City of Cape Town on Milnerton lagoon and the Diep River Catchments.
The directives were issued to address the pollution of the water bodies and have seen significant successes to date. These directives include a pre-directive which was issued on 26 March 2020, a directive which was issued on 21 September 2020, and a modified directive which was issued on 22 January 2021.
The response received highlighted that the directives have resulted in increased response times to pollution complaints and increased the frequency of solid waste clean-ups within surrounding informal settlements. Standard Operating Procedures and pollution incident protocols have also been developed and are being updated to address pump station failures.
In terms of the successes implemented through the directives, it was also highlighted that:
- The City is compliant with 9 or most of the conditions of the Modified Directive Conditions, non-compliant with 2 conditions, 2 conditions have been relaxed based on substantiated motivations received from the City, and partially compliant with 4 conditions – which are contingent on timeframes.
- Regular meetings are held between the City and the Provincial Department of Environmental Affairs to assess progress on and compliance with the City’s Action Plan and the Modified Directive.
- The City also has quarterly meetings with OUTA and the Milnerton Central Ratepayers Association to promote transparency and address issues related to the pollution of the water bodies.
- The Premier and Mayor monitor the progress made through the Inter-Governmental Co-operation Forum.
These ongoing interventions have further led to the procurement processes for major sewage infrastructure upgrades including the Potsdam Wastewater Treatment Works, the Dunoon and Doornbach Sewer Gravity Reticulation Network, the Montague Gardens Bulk Sewer Gravity Reticulation Network, and the screening system.
There are still significant measures that need to be taken to turn the tide on Milnerton Lagoon. I am certain, however, that we are on the right track to address the pollution and sanitation issues.
At the City’s second quarterly Milnerton Lagoon stakeholder engagement last night, it was communicated that 31 active members of the community had made submissions to the City on steps that can be taken to address this issue. I want to commend residents who made submissions on their active citizenry.
Going forward, these submissions will be assessed by the City in terms of their viability which will later be communicated to the community. Submissions can be made on an ongoing basis to: Enviro@capetown.gov.za.