Making the Wynberg canal safer

Collage of canal pictures

Ways of making the Wynberg canal safer – especially for the properties bordering the canal – are to be explored following a meeting called by Ward 62 Cllr Liz Brunette on 4 May.

The meeting was attended by representatives from Wynberg Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association, Wynberg Sector 1 Neighbourhood Watch, Wynberg Improvement District, Old Wynberg Village and several City officials.

The WRRA welcomed the meeting as many previous appeals to the City  to attend to the concerns went unanswered.

The problems

The canal has for many years been a source of concern.

cover of constantia bulletin on canal

  • It is used as living space by street people, as well as by criminals posing as street people.
  • It provides easy, out-of-sight access for criminals to properties bordering the canal. One house has been broken into 14 times in the past five years.
  • It is a drug den.
  • It is used for sex work.
  • It poses a health risk as it is used as an open latrine.
  • It poses a flood risk as its capacity to contain floodwaters is too small so that surrounding streets are sometimes flooded in winter.
    Streets around Wynberg canal flooded

The WRRA has requested that steps to make the canal safe be considered in the City’s new budget.

Where does the canal run?

It starts at Wynberg Park, flows past Wynberg Girls’ School into Maynardville Park, and from there into Devonshire/Oak Road. It is open except where it goes under road bridges at Vriedenhof, Wellington, Langley, Malton and Kemms Road. Then it passes under Constantia Road and onwards through Plumstead.

The route of the canal

Possible solutions

  • Fencing off areas of access to the canal
  • Erecting a grate structure over the canal
  • Reporting by residents of people in the canal to both the police and the City’s law enforcement
  • Ongoing projects to find better shelter for street people, including a City project currently running in the Constantia Green Belt that may be extended to Wynberg
  • Flooding: There is an existing plan to increase the capacity of rentention ponds in Maynardville, but this plan has been on the City’s wish list for several years and has not yet been put into action due to lack of budget. Cost estimated to be over R10 m.

The way forward

  • Cllr Brunette will by end May start working with the WRRA, NW and WID to preparing an action plan matrix that will be sent through to Subcouncil.
  • A city engineer will investigate practical ways of limiting access to the canal.

How residents can help

  • If you notice that existing fences have been cut or damaged, please log a service request online . In Langley Rd new fencing was recently installed by the City as numerous repair requests made it clear that it would be cheaper to upgrade the fencing rather than continue to repair.

  • Also log requests about debris, flooding etc.
  • Alert SAPS as well as City Law Enforcement on 0860 765 423 about suspicious people moving in and out of the canal.

PICTURES: Julian Emdon from the video Walking the Wynberg Canal; Georgia Lahusen on the WRRA Facebook page





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