River bank mess

Jenny Patchett, Somerset West

I live on the opposite riverbank in Graceland Place, and watched last summer when the City of Cape Town cleared a large part of the riverbank to give the river more flowing space, in case of floods.

They cut down a lot of trees then, which was hard to watch, but decided to leave the willows, which were beautiful, as they were far enough away from the actual river and their roots could do no damage.

From Friday last week, the digger has been back, and they are clearing everything along that side of the river – all the grass, flowers and most importantly the old beautiful willows – but they have not actually cleared any of the vegetation in the river.

Now they are just leaving a huge dust bowl across there.

Can Bolander please find out why they are doing this, from someone with authority in the City?

If there were to be floods, there is now nothing to impede the waters from overflowing the riverbank on that side, as all the vegetation has been dug up and carted away.

Are they planning something else there? Surely, we and all the other complexes around should have been consulted?

What was a beautiful riverbank scene and lovely and peaceful to look at has now become a monstrosity.

In response to an enquiry to the City of Cape Town’s media office, requesting a response to this letter, Bolander received the following:

“Unfortunately, the official who can comment on your enquiry is currently on leave and will return to work on October 2.

“We will therefore only provide on his return. We apologise for the inconvenience that this might cause.”

Asked for comment Stuart Pringle, chairperson of Sub-Council Eight and Ward 84 councillor, said via email:

“I suspect that the clearing and cutting of the vegetation and trees is part of the capital works being done by the City in terms of the flood alleviation work, which is budgeted at R30 million over the next three financial years.

“While this work is, in several places, causing inconvenience to many residents, I am grateful for their patience and have already intervened in a number of instances where things appear to require intervention.

“In this instance there are several issues which are raised and I will be addressing these with the relevant officials and requiring of them that they report back to deal with these matters.”