Thursday, October 29, 2009


On the cycle path going through Bluewater Bay, there is a sewage or water leak from one of the main service lines running alongside the bike path. It has been leaking for about seven days now.

Recommended action: Notify the responsible municipal official

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Blackspot 1: Stormwater Pipes destroying a Mtb Trail

This is the first GreenSpot posting (or in this case a BlackSpot). The steps we take when identifying a spot are as follows:

1) Geolocate the spot: Where in the world is it and place it on a map

2) Say whats good about it (GreenSpot) or whats bad about it (BlackSpot)

3) Identify remedial measures: What do we do about fixing it or giving credit where credit is due

This development is right on the edge of the Baakens Mountain Bike Trail. As you can see from the photo, the engineers have cut a path of approximately 100 meters wide to bury 160mm stormwater pipes and associated manholes. The pipes remove stormwater from the Lorraine Industrial Area and discharge into the Baakens river valley. The following questions need to be asked:

1) Was an environmental assessment conducted. Our understanding is that the relevant environmental legislation is triggered by the extent of vegetation cleared and the fact that the pipes are within the specified distance of a river.

2) The clearing of vegetation and the grading of construction roads has been completely indiscriminate. It is difficult to conceive how a 100 meter wide path must be cleared for a 160mm pipeline.

3) Indigenous vegetation (particularly bulbous species of fynbos have been destroyed).

4) Trails used by mountain biking enthusiasts have been destroyed.

Pending the resolution of the issue of whether or not an EIA was required, Immediate action is required to ensure that the negative environmental impacts are addressed,

The following steps are required to ameliorate the negative impacts:

1) Construcion impacts on the Mtb trail need to be determined and redressed

2) The Long term impacts of clearing indigenous vegetation need to be assessed. Negative impacts must be offset by compensatory improvements to the mountain bike trail network.

3) A mountain bike trail must be established along the length of the stormwater line. This is a distance of approximately 2km. The trail must be established in consultation with mountain bikers and needs to link to the existing trail network

4) The Baakens River Mtb Trail pamphlet is to be redesigned and republished to reflect amendments to the trail.


1) The matter is to be reported to the responsible officer for environment with the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality (NMBMM) and to DEDEA (responsible for EIAs).

2) NMBMM will be requested to implement the recommended measures to mitigate impacts.

3) In the event of non response, charges will be laid with the South African Police Services for transgressions of the National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998.