Tackling Westlake’s endless tide of trash

Ward councillor Carolynne Franklin, Fanus Ferreira from NCC Environmental Services and mayoral committee member for urban waste Grant Twigg get stuck into cleaning up Westlake.

Ward 71 councillor Carolynne Franklin and mayoral committee member for urban waste Grant Twigg led the Westlake River leg of the mayor’s citywide clean-up campaign on Friday morning, despite the rain.

Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis launched the Keep Cape Town Clean campaign on Wednesday February 2.

The group tackled the wetland between Lynx Way and Westlake Primary School.

The source of the river is Steenberg Estate on the slopes of Constantiaberg and it flows through Westlake Village, Pollsmoor prison, under the M3 into Kirstenhof, the M4 Main Road and into Zandvlei and False Bay.

The river was cleaned two weeks earlier, according to Ms Franklin, but on Friday is was full of litter again.

Mr Twigg and Ms Franklin cleaned alongside neighbourhood watch members, private security contractors, NCC Environmental Services, expanded public works programme (EPWP) employees, law enforcement and residents.

Ms Franklin said schoolchildren should be taught about the harm caused by illegal dumping and littering. “The City and community leaders need to take up the slack, with limited resources,” she said.

Ward 71 allocated R100 000 annually to the EPWP and most of the time the clean-up teams were in Westlake, she said.

Many programmes had been tried in the past, including the placement of skips, but all had failed dismally, she said. Instead, City sanitation workers were in Westlake three times a week to try to stem the dumping and littering.

Community leader and neighbourhood watch member Sipho Stemele showed Ms Franklin drains blocked by litter.

“The community leaders and myself are encouraging street WhatsApp groups so that the links to report dumping, blocked drains and sewers or any other service requests can be shared into the responsible communities,” said Ms Franklin.

She said 1 500 leaflets explaining how to contact her to escalate concerns had been distributed throughout Westlake and that was paying dividends.

Ms Franklin has also engaged with the Westlake Taxi Association and six additional bins have been provided for the taxi staging area in Lynx Way.

She said blue bags were supplied to the association monthly so it could help to keep the area clean.

“I will continue to engage with the mayoral committee member for solid waste and the community for innovative and long-term solutions to this scourge,” she said. “I commit to empowering the community to uplift themselves and also to enable small business nodes within the ward.”

At the sub-council meeting, at the Alphen Centre on Wednesday April 20, Ms Franklin raised the issue of Westlake drains being cleaned as part of the City’s winter-readiness programme. This is set to have been done on Wednesday May 3.

Report illegal dumping, overflowing sewers and drains at 086 010 3089.

Expanded public works programme (EPWP) employees get stuck into cleaning in Westlake.
Westlake resident Michael Futshane lends a helping hand.
Westlake leader Sipho Stemele points out drains blocked by litter.
The river that runs past the Westlake Primary School is now full of litter again, despite being cleaned two weeks earlier.