Hennops River Restoration Campaign Day 8 by Willem Snyman fresh.ngo
‘The cleanup around the informal waste sorting area opposite SuperSport Park in Centurion was a huge success. A great thanks to all the volunteers who worked very hard and to Tshwane for embracing the cleanup day; providing a truck, cutting open logs at the bridge and providing manpower and bags. Cllr Visser, Michael from Conservation, Sibusiso head of waste water, and Esme from DWS were some of the high powered officials who attended the day.
A large stretch of the river and banks was cleaned of plastic. Much of the waste of the informal community has been dumped in the river, with their shacks on the banks in danger of being washed away when flooding. Increased urbanisation in the catchment has resulted in rapid runoff of storm water and increasingly severe flash floods. The hundred year floodline is increasingly being occupied. On the Kaalspruit innocent people are being sold portions of riverbanks, subdivided by ruthless and greedy self-appointed developers, mostly from the EFF, busy making whole township areas along the Kaalspruit banks with no town planning knowledge. A lady I met afterwards working at the Lake Hotel had bought a stand in the new Riverside area in Tembisa, sold between R4-6 thousand with no services, (still extra ) in a highly dangerous place. The poor are being exploited for profit in a continuing land grab, eating away communal nature belonging to the government and to the river, falling inside its high water flood line.
A visit to Sunderland Ridge Wwtw showed much positive improvement. An increase in security to six guards at all times has resulted in no cable theft for six months, mowed lawns and better effluent quality, although it can still be improved. Alerted of a pipe from the industrial area, a permanent stream of a chemical smelling liquid was found issuing from a stormwater pipe, the source difficult to trace, hopefully analysis will lead to the guilty factory. Along with Walter, a security guard, we explored Oliewenhoutbosh for sewerage leaks and found a large one regularly re-occurring, as well as a pump constantly pumping out groundwater. The Rietspruit stream here is grey wih sewerage and still needs further investigation. Tomorrow is the last cleanup day of the campaign and two sites will be run simultaneously with the help of Tshwane. Work will continue around Supersport and we will start on the older recycling area on Wierda Road. Thanks to all taking part, our efforts have been rewarded with improved quality of the river water, visibility improving dramatically. Fish eagles have returned to the lower part of the river and fish and crabs sighted again. We are very grateful to all who made this possible.’