Presented as written by Kayla van Petegem, journalist at Pretoria Moot Rekord:
The “disgusting smell” emanating from a stream that was recently cleaned in the west of Pretoria is still driving residents up the wall.
Rekord reported earlier this year that the stream was cleaned by municipal workers in February.
“After the clean-up, we thought that this issue would finally be resolved, but it wasn’t,” said resident Kleintjie Janse van Rensburg.
Janse van Rensburg said despite the fact that the stream was clean, the smell remained “unbearable”.
“We really cannot take it anymore,” she said.
“Sometimes we cannot even open our windows for some fresh air because the smell quickly overwhelms the whole house.”
Janse van Rensburg lives around the corner from the stream in Paff Street.
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“The stench in the air is even starting to affect my grass,” she said.
“It is starting to die at some spots.”
Booysens resident Clinton Barnard said it was hard to describe the smell.
“Sometimes we get a sewage smell, while sometimes it smells like something sour.”
Barnard said rubbish burning at the informal settlements in the area added to residents’ frustration.
“How bad the smell is all depends on the wind direction,” he said.
“What price will one get for one’s property with this fowl stench in the air?”
Barnard said he had been living in the area for the past five years.
“Funny enough, three weeks after we moved in, was the first time we got a whiff of the stench,” he said.
He said it was a health hazard for anyone living in the area.
“Investigations should now turn to action. This has been an ongoing matter for years,” he said.
“Surely, the residents are tired of hearing about investigations – I surely am.”
Barnard suggested that the metro start at the source of the problem, which he believed was at the informal settlement.
“They should clean up the area and provide adequate dust bins and toilets so that the informal residents can stop using the countryside as a urinal,” he said.
“Burning of litter should be considered a crime in these areas.
“Regardless of your status – one should respect the place one lives in and others around.”
Janse van Rensburg said what concerned her more was the overgrown grass and reeds in the area, especially at the stream.
“It is a breeding spot for criminals and they can hide away easily among the tall grass,” she said.
She said some residents have experienced a rise in crime since the grass was overgrown.
“Every now and again, we hear of fences being cut to gain entry to a property,” she said.
“It is out of control and something needs to be done urgently – we cannot continue living like this.”
The Tshwane metro had not commented at the time of going to press.
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Link to full article: https://rekordmoot.co.za/138578/noses-still-curl-up-over-smelly-booysens-stream/