Updated: Nov 26, 2018
By Dave Cochrane
I met Simon at Life 4U at 07h00 on 17 November 2018. The plan was to find the source of the Clayville Tributary. According to Google Maps the source is the Sedibeng stream in Sedibeng Sports Park. We arrived at the park just after 07h00 and found the source immediately. The Sedibeng stream emerges from a large storm water drain. The water is clear and to the eye it is not polluted. Simon and I then followed the stream all the way to Clayville. As will be seen from the photographs that follow, there is a lot of litter in the stream. We did not encounter any overflowing sewers along the way, and would appear the stream is not polluted by sewage.
The Sedibeng Sports Park is used by residents from early in the morning, with residents playing soccer, jogging, exercising and using the outdoor gym equipment.
Unfortunately, almost immediately we were confronted by litter, at the gate to the park.
The litter along the Sedibeng stream increased as we followed it downstream. The bridge at Freedom Drive, which had been cleared of litter on Mandela Day was again blocked up with litter.
In the park nearby, an empty dustbin is surrounded by litter.
Litter in the stream and parks is in contrast to yards and pavents that are maintained neatly. Below is a photograph of a pavement that is maintained, and planted with succelent plants. Right next to this pavment, nearer to the stream, rubbish is deposited. Simon said that refuse is collected every week, so we need to understand why rubbish is deposited in these places.
We found a recycling facility in Tembisa next to the Sedibeng stream. It is well organised with recycling skips, and shaded area for sorting.
Simon showed me an area where the Boitshepong Foundation is creating structures to beautify Tembisa. A beautiful street.
Simon and I then said our good-byes. He is a wonderful man with passion and commitment for the upliftment of the community.
I drove downstream to where the Sedibeng stream enters Clayville, becoming the Clayville tributary. Apart from litter, the stream is still clear and does not appear to be polluted by sewage. The Clayville tributary is canalised as it flows through Clayville. On the other side, apart from a slight sheen of oil, the water still looks relatively clean.
I did find this storm water pipe at the corner of Angola and Spanner Rd in Clayville. It empties into the Clayville tributary. You can see black sludge flowing from the pipe, and the smell (a vile stench) is terrible. From the black water marks it is clear that the flow increases. This has been reported, and the Environmental Officials have been alerted.
Apart from the litter, the Sedibeng stream/Clayville tributary appear to be in a relatively good state.
There are other tributaries and streams that are in a much worse condition, with sewers overflowing directly into them, as has been shown by Willem Snyman of FRESH.
Nevertheless, I think that we should continue with our initiative on the Sedibeng stream. We are already working with Simon and Life 4U, and if we can link with other members of the community such as the Boitshepong Foundation we can find a way to clear the litter from the stream and parks and rubbish from the pavements with long-term and sustainable solutions.