by Willem Snyman
On January 15 Tshwane finished the massive job of cleaning the accumulated trash at the Riverview nature area. A staggering volume of black rotten rubbish was removed at both bridges - two large mounds of trash piled up, including numerous tyres, a shopping cart and plastics. The volumes of large pieces of styrofoam looks suspiciously like dumping from a packaging company. I visited the Bagerezi and spent some time with them. They don't seem to be dumping on the river bank anymore and are using the trash bags that they find which is being regularly picked up by Tshwane. A lot of the floating debris unfortunately went downstream during the cleanup. A net stretched across and installed here permanently will catch much of the trash.
I met with a netting company representative on site who recommended cricket nets. I spoke with SuperSport Park about possible sponsorship and visted to a large netting company. Even old tennis nets could work, or one could have them custom made and knotted by hand. To see where much of the trash could be coming from I met DA councillor Otto in Kaalfontein. He has been single handedly keeping up the fight here. He showed me an area where he stopped an invasion and envisages making a park.
Further down in the wetland the self appointed developer Harry has now shifted to another site. As we stood there two more trucks came to dump into the natural vegetation, pushing back and burying the reeds along with their birds nests. After a long discussion with a local group, another community meeting for next Sunday was scheduled, specifically around the land issue. The developer has again agreed to halt the dumping, which remains to be seen. There is a large overflowing sewerage main into the wetland next to this site. However, the leaking infrastructure seems to be getting better. Generally there seems to be an improvement in volumes of trash lying around. A lot of it seems to be packed in rubbish bags and waiting for removal. There appears to be a slow positive change all along the river giving one hope for the eventual resurrection of the Hennops.