Concerned residents say that pollution and sewage spills into the vlei are degrading the waters of the nature reserve in Muizenberg.

An online petition was started two weeks ago on to save Zandvlei Nature Reserve. It has garnered over 5,300 signatures as of Tuesday 20 April.

Residents are demanding that the City's mayco member for water and waste, Xanthea Limberg, and the mayco member for spatial planning and environment, Marian Niewoudt, meet with the community to discuss the immediate action required to protect Zandvlei from future sewage and industrial spills.

According to the petition, the vlei is currently in a desperate state because of litter and weed and from the stench caused by sewage spills, rotting weed, and detritus.

The water is also becoming de-oxygenated which is killing fish and other water life.

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Concerned resident Mike Ryder says lack of action by municipal officials has led to a gradual deterioration of the water quality in the vlei.

Ryder tells CapeTalk that various municipal departments have failed to implement a coordinated and strategic response to improve the state of the vlei.

The state of the water at the moment is pretty grim.

Mike Ryder, Founder - Friends of Liesbeek

Each of the issues is addressed by a different department in council - you have stormwater, biodiversity, parks & amenities, you have nature conservation and you have the sewage guys. Each of those departments is involved in a different facet of what is affecting Zandvlei and unfortunately, they don't seem to want to talk to each other too well or too often. Consequently, almost nothing is being done to address the problems.

Mike Ryder, Founder - Friends of Liesbeek

Ever since Marina Da Gama was built, the problems have existed. Because they haven't been addressed, they've steadily gotten worse and worse.

Mike Ryder Founder at Friends of Liesbeek

It's not necessarily the whole of the nature reserve we're concerned about... it's primarily the quality of the water and the total lack of action that we've experienced from the council over the 15 to 20 years.

Mike Ryder Founder at Friends of Liesbeek.

We need some strategic answers from the council rather than just the operational offering.

Mike Ryder Founder at Friends of Liesbeek.

Listen to the discussion on Today with Kieno Kammies:

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Residents demand action over 'alarming' water quality at Zandvlei Nature Reserve

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