News / South Africa / Local News

Jason Milford
2 minute read
14 Mar 2018
9:59 am

Centurion’s river of despair

Jason Milford

The river was a place that residents could be proud of just a few years ago.

Rubbish caught by trees that fell into the river.

The deplorable state of the Hennops River has gone from bad to worse, Centurion Rekord reports.

Plastic bags, used toilet paper discarded pieces of cloth and all kinds of rubbish are hanging from tree branches.

READ MORE: Decomposed body found in river

There seemed to be no attempt in the pipeline to restore the river, said resident Charl Niehaus.

Centurion Rekord has been carrying a litany of reports on the parlous conditions of the Hennops river the past few years.

Niehaus said he was heartbroken about the deterioration of the river.

“Many years ago, it was a river everybody was proud of. You could swim, have picnics and walk along the river,” he remembered.

“Today it is a filthy, stinking river of sewerage, which seriously threatens the environment and human lives.”

As also reported previously, vagrants living upstream along the river, discard their human waste into the river.

Niehaus said he was also sceptical about apparent efforts to have some of the former glory restored to the Centurion Lake.

Nothing would be achieved if the origin of the problem was not being attended to, he said.

This was an uncontrolled influx of raw sewage and other spills from industries like hospitals and from neighbouring metros, Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg.

This problem was well-known to all responsible departments in Tshwane, said the metro’s spokesman Lindela Mashigo.

Niehaus said he tried taking matters into his own hands by asking the metro and relevant state departments to intervene.

“When enquiring about this situation, there are always excuses, and nothing being done to solve this serious problem.”

Centurion Rekord paid a visit last week to Clubview in Centurion where the river flows below the bridge in Blackwood Street.

Fully-grown trees that had fallen into the river blocked the flow of water and collect heavy loads of rubbish during floods.

The banks on both sides of the river were overgrown with weeds, posing a safety risk to residents.

Niehaus said it was easy to imagine thugs ambushing people and dragging them into the dense bushes.

“The lives of residents and innocent animals are at stake. This poisonous water is also against our human rights. These conditions are no longer acceptable,” he said.

Last year, Centurion Rekord also reported on pollution to the Hennops River – to the grief of Centurions already battling to cope with the state of the river.

This was due to a power failure at the Sunderland Ridge wastewater treatment plant suspected of causing a spillage of effluent into the river, said ward councillor Kingsley Wakelin.

Wakelin at the time said the matter was escalated to pollution control in the municipality, as well as environmental management services.

A response from the metro to a request for comment was still being awaited by the time of going to press.

Decomposed body found in river

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