City’s road infrastructure clean-ups continue while cold front brings heavy downpours

14 Jun 2023 in Where We Govern

The City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Mobility, Councillor Rob Quintas, joined the Road Infrastructure Management (RIM) Department teams in Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha and Philippi today to oversee some of their clean-up operations in the midst of a severe cold front. The work included catch pit cleaning; pond cleaning and the cleaning of pipes which forms part of the directorate’s annual Winter Preparation programme, to mitigate potential flood risks in Cape Town. Read more below:

The City of Cape Town’s RIM department plays a crucial role all year round in maintaining the city’s stormwater assets. This time of year all the department’s districts and depots across Cape Town finalise their cleaning efforts with the annual winter preparation programme, a much needed effort as we have witnessed the past few days with continuous heavy downpours.

‘There has been some localised flooding in the city due to heavy rains. Some of the flooding is happening in locations where illegal dumping is a huge challenge, or where residents have built illegally in or next to retention ponds, or over stormwater infrastructure. This is very unfortunate, as when we have rain like we have had over the past few days, the impact is severe.

‘I am though pleased by what I have seen driving around Philippi, Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha this morning. Our roads and sidewalks are clear of water and the work our teams have completed in preparation for these heavy rains is now evident. Certain areas will experience localised flooding after the amount of rainfall we have received and we can expect this to increase later this week, however we want to remind residents that we will have to allow some time for the water to drain away and clear when this does occur.

‘As far as illegal dumping is concerned, earlier today we saw how our teams had to again clear building rubble from our stormwater system which if left, would block the stormwater pipeline passing through Colorado leading from Samora Machel in Philippi and cause flooding upstream. The guys could thankfully get some jet vacuuming done and the stormwater is now flowing the way it should.

‘I once again witnessed the kind of challenges our teams are having to deal with and this continues to be the theft of manhole covers, theft of the actual metal step bars which give them access to inspect the stormwater manholes and the illegal dumping of building rubble,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee member for Urban Mobility, Councillor Rob Quintas

The RIM department’s programme has been implemented over the past 12 months in a proactive manner to improve the hydraulic functioning of the stormwater system in preparation for the winter period. This also includes various areas that are prone to flooding or have been identified as hot spots for continuous illegal dumping.

The cleaning of pipes, catch pits, wet and dry ponds and canals is currently still underway with the teams completing the remainder of the work over the next week.

The cleaning interventions include:

  • Catchpit cleaning
  • Pond cleaning – where weeds, reeds and large amounts of illegally dumped waste is removed from the City’s dry and wet ponds to ensure that the in- and outlets of the ponds are not restricted. In many areas these ponds are mostly used for illegal dumping and are prone to flooding due to this system abuse
  • Stormwater pipeline cleaning – a duct cleaning machine (powered winching machine) is used which pulls a bucket through a pipeline to collect and remove debris.
  • Canal cleaning – cleaning of concrete-lined and unlined canals and channels where litter, weeds, reeds and other vegetation are removed
  • In addition to the scheduled cleaning, hot spot and trapped low areas prone to flooding are monitored and inspected prior to, during and after every major rain event

‘Our teams are targeting the areas that are worst affected by extensive illegal dumping and the blocking of stormwater drains. They have tried to reach as many of these areas as possible ahead of these winter rains and I am pleading with the public to refrain from dumping illegally,’ said Councillor Quintas.

Residents can use the following channels to report transport and road related issues:

  • Transport Information Centre (TIC) on 080 065 6463. This is a 24/7 information centre and free from a landline or a cell phone
  • Send an email to
  • Residents are reminded to please include their name, contact number and the exact location of the blocked stormwater infrastructure. It is very important to ensure that the details of the location are 100% correct as this will improve our response time. We want to thank our residents for working with us.

City launched a R120bn infrastructure portfolio. As part of this portfolio, Cape Town will spend about R1 billion a year on electricity infrastructure between now and 2028. Almost 60% of this outlay is earmarked to expand and strengthen our grid and medium voltage infrastructure.’ said Councillor Van Reenen.

Report damage to municipal electrical infrastructure:

Anonymous tip-offs welcomed

Reward of R5 000 if tip offs lead to arrests.

Call: 0800 1100 77

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