Keeping Kowie clean

In the time this writer has been editing Talk of the Town there have been numerous community clean-ups, some of which Talk of the Town has initiated and participated in.

For several consecutive years our Mandela Day project was a beach clean-up between Kelly’s Blue Flag Beach and West Beach. Sometimes we were joined by other community members.

We always found plenty of litter, in spite of the fact there is meant to be a dedicated team of coastal cleaners employed by the Expanded Public Works Programme. Before that it was a team called Coast Care, a public/private partnership between the Eastern Cape government and a company based in Makhanda (Grahamstown).

Long-time readers may remember the time Daily Dispatch journalist Dave Macgregor broke a story about the Coast Care workers shirking their duties by sleeping in the dune bushes, after he was tipped off by a resident.

There was even a damage control meeting called by the municipality and the company managing the workers, at which the workers tried to deny what was evident in the photographs taken by Macgregor.

Coast Care is no longer around, but the job to clean the beaches and riverbanks is still there, in the form of the EPWP. Unfortunately, these workers maintain the reputation of laziness and disregard.

The same kind of half-hearted cleaning is evident around town. Notwithstanding that the municipal cleaners have a huge task on their hands continually picking up after people who drop their litter everywhere.

As mentioned in this column before, the wall at the taxi rank along Southwell Road is an eyesore – the scene of pervasive littering and public urination. Until the municipality stops this by enforcing the bylaws against littering and indecent exposure, they will just keep putting a plaster on a festering wound.

The other spot in town which attracts a sordid array of pollution is the Duck Pond. Some rubbish that ends up in the water is wind-blown, but other things, like used tyres, are deliberately dumped there.

It is a disgrace that such a beautiful, natural site should be treated with such contempt.

TotT initiated a clean-up there too a few years ago, which also drew community support, and we collected a lot of rubbish, from plastic and glass to car parts. But the littering never ends.

This pollution is a blight and degrading the environment of this habitat of water, plant and bird life which should be safeguarded and preserved.

There are municipal workers assigned to keeping the town clean. They should not neglect the fouling of the Duck Pond.

– Jon Houzet