Greenbelt group takes City to task over trail conditions

This new pond has appeared on the Klaasenbosch Trail.

A blocked detention pond and a collapsing bank on Constantia’s Klaasenbosch Trail have been red-flagged by Colin Walker, chairperson of Friends of Constantia Valley Greenbelts (FCVG).

FCVG is a non-profit organisation founded in 1994 as a group of volunteers who help with maintenance and improve work done by the City.

Mr Walker said he has been in contact with the City and councillor Liz Brunette since spring 2020 to attend to the blockage in the pond, which was built to temporarily trap floodwater.

Mr Walker said he had heard that Ms Brunette had inspected the site in early May and the issue had been brought to her attention again at the last Constantia Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association (CRRA) meeting on Friday May 21.

Mr Walker said there had been excessive erosion of sand into the stream. “Hence because of no maintenance of the trap, the whole trap sump is now blocked,” he said.

Ms Brunette referred our queries to the City, whose water and waste directorate said a contractor had been working on the pond since last week, trying to unblock the stormwater pipe. The directorate was also arranging for teams to work on the pond’s litter grids and nets before, during and after the rain to avoid the blockages during heavy storms.

Mr Walker said there had also been several accidents, including the death in February of a novice horse rider, on a collapsing bank on the Klaassenbosch trail. The woman had been riding uphill towards Spilhaus Avenue with two other riders when her horse “apparently became spooked and unnerved by the narrowness of the trail“. Mr Walker said the horse had reared up and fallen backwards on top of the rider who had died later in hospital of her injuries.

Two other horses had also fallen down the bank, Mr Walker said. “Riders informed me that it was a miracle that no one was hurt and that they managed to get the horses out of the tangle of fallen trees that they fell into,” he said.

“These accidents could have been avoided if the City had acted timeously and put in a gabion, as we discussed in the middle of last year,” he said.

The City did not respond to our queries about the gabion, and, despite numerous emails and phone calls, Wynberg police did not answer out questions about the horse rider.

Email Alex Cloete-Hopkins at alex@alphen.co.za, or Robert Thorp at robert.thorp@mweb.co.za for more information about the FCVG.

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