Residents pitch up for dirt pick-up

Dino Peros, in the middle with black t-shirt, speaks to the volunteers ahead of the clean up.

Residents from all over the Atlantic seaboard came together last Sunday to pick up trash along Helen Suzman Boulevard.

The clean-up project was initiated by Sea Point resident Dino Peros via a Facebook post on the Atlantic Seaboard Crime Watch group on February 5.

More than 20 people got together at a parking lot opposite the Green Point tennis club, getting stuck into their task at 9am and finishing at noon. They filled up more than 80 refuse bags.

Besides the litter and human excrement, they collected a broken trolley, a smashed windscreen and needles. Mr Peros says he he had seen workers from the City of Cape Town cleaning up in the week.

“I drive to work and back on this road and I see the litter every day. I’m fed up like the rest of these residents and I was surprised to see cleaners here in the week, but still there is work to be done,” said Mr Peros.

“I’ve reached out to the City and the ward councillors. They say we should fill out C3 forms, but there’s no action. This place needs a thorough clean-up,” he said.

Ward 54 councillor Nicola Jowell and Ward 115 councillor Ian MacMahon sent a joint statement to the Atlantic Sun about the initiative by Mr Peros.

“It’s a fantastic initiative and well done to Dino for spearheading this and bringing people together. And thank you to everyone who gave of their time and energy to take part. It’s absolutely in line with the call from the Mayor for passionate Capetonians to take pride in their communities and to assist the City of Cape Town in cleaning cape town,” said Ms Jowell.

Gavin Watson carries a bag of litter. Within 20 minutes, volunteers had filled four garbage bags.

Gavin “Spotty” Watson, who is on holiday and visiting his mom in Sea Point, decided to join the clean-up operation.

“If you have City officials who are not capable of looking after the city then you (residents) have to get involved and do the job for them,” said Mr Watson who lives in Australia.

Jess Van Vuuren, from Bordeaux, says she wants the City to be aware of what the residents are doing and hopes that the city will be cleaned properly.

Kirsty Chadwick, and Glen Van Echten moved from New Zealand to Constantia recently and say they want to add value to the Cape Town community.

Kirsty Chadwick and Glen Van Echten all the way from New Zealand joined in on the clean-up.

“I heard about this via friends on social media and they wanted support, so here we are. Kiwis are brought up not to litter and to clean up, so it’s something we do over there,” said Ms Chadwick.

The clean-up moved slowly up the boulevard.

Paul Lanterme, from Fresnaye, says people constantly complain about the dirt and people living on the streets, via social media.

“The guys that complain the most, we are here. It’s unfortunate to bring politics into this but the DA needs to be proactive about what they do and how they do it.

“The homeless are not going to disappear when the state of disaster ends. They have got to live somewhere. The people in charge need to be proactive about these matters. Cleaning up is easy, but what about the homeless people that live in these conditions?” Mr Lanterme said.

Jess Van Vuuren found dirt hidden in that bush.

“I’m sick and tired of the litter. We need to keep this going and we (are) letting people know that the council is not doing what they (are) supposed to do. It’s nice to see the green grass but if you look closely you will see it’s (the litter) is getting worse,” said Gina Mossman, from Sea Point.

Ms Jowell pointed out that the fact that the area was a high foot and vehicle traffic area, resulted in the amount of the litter in there. Exacerbating the problem was the number of people living on the street who ate and slept there as well.

“There currently is a City Parks team in the area twice a week. Solid Waste Cleansing usually wash down the hard surfaces of the underpass twice a week but currently this is limited to once a week – but will increase. The cleansing street sweeping team is also here three times a week. There is a team from the GP CID that also comes onto the fan mile daily and will cover as far as the circle as well,” she said.

A man was found sleeping in a storm drain and Ms Jowell says they are and will continue to offer social services to the homeless.

The volunteers went around and in to the bushes to pick up trash.