St Audley Park in state of chaos

Something smells rotten in Bryanston East, and it’s coming from the ravine on St Audley.

Many residents residing in the Bryanston East community between Ballyclare Drive, St Audley and West Hertford roads will have noticed the sour stench of sewage.

Community member Alex Babich walked through the park at the corner of St Audley and West Hertford roads on April 4. He identified the source of the smell and said he had reported the flow of sewage into the ravine to the relevant authorities.

“I reported a sewage spill about three weeks ago. I reported it to our councillor and I’ve been on-site with Johannesburg Water,” Babich said. “When I was a child, we used to play freely here; we could camp here, we could play here, we could go in the river, build forts and be children.

A marsh which Alex Babich identified while jogging. He said only a water leak could explain the water in this portion of the park.

“Today, you’re stuck behind a big fence, you can’t play in this area. It’s unsafe for children, it’s got sewage running out, we’ve got squatters, illegal vagrants, and a complete mess here.”

Babich has been a resident of the Bryanston community for 58 years and explained his understanding of the community’s sewage challenges.
“It’s coming from the Bryanston community. What I understand is that all these developers that you see to the back over here, have been pushing for high-density developments. This stench has been going on now for four weeks. All of this is increasingly more overt. We’re seeing increasing water pollution, and we’re seeing increasing water leaks which we can ill-afford in a water-scarce country.”
Ward 103 councillor Shackleford confirmed on April 5 that the matter had been escalated to the relevant authorities.

A marsh which Alex identified while jogging. He said only a water leak could explain water in this portion of the park.

“It’s an ongoing sewage problem; it’s happened three or four times since last year,” Shackleford explained. “Each time they come out to repair, but this time has taken the longest to come out again. It has been escalated up to the region’s Joburg Water department as an ongoing problem because it’s going into the stream.”

A marsh which Alex identified while jogging. He said only a water leak could explain water in this portion of the park.

Shackleford said a request to Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo for rangers to patrol the park and identify all the problematic challenges impacting its ecosystem had also been submitted.

“I’ve asked City Parks and the conservation department to also send the city park rangers to do a walk of the river because I feel it’s not the only sewage spill. I feel it’s a big one, but not the only one at present.”

What the water looks like as it runs with sewage.

Johannesburg Water and Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo were both contacted on April 4, and no feedback had been supplied by either on April 8 at the time of going to print.

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