The City of Cape Town has started public hearings on three marine outfalls which pump about nine million litres of sewage out to sea every day, reports GroundUp.

Mayco member for water and sanitation Zahid Badroodien announced the start of a 60-day public hearing period at a pre-briefing on Wednesday evening.

This comes after the city failed to notify the public it had been granted the permits in 2019 for Hout Bay, in December 2022 for Green Point, and in January for Camps Bay.

In total, the three permits allow for a maximum 56m litres of sewage to be pumped out to sea every day.

The city also applied for a permit to discharge brine at the Green Point outfall in line with the possible development of a desalination plant.

Following appeals to the granting of the permits submitted by a number of organisations in January and February, Forestry, Fisheries & the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy, in her appeal decision of 10 June, stated the city failed to notify interested parties that the permits had been granted or to make a public announcement.

This impinged on the public’s right to appeal.

Appeals are supposed to be lodged within 30 days of the appellant being notified of the decision, or within 60 days of the decision being announced if the appellant is not notified of the decision.

Creecy stated the public only became aware of the issuing of the permits after the National Sea Rescue Institute (one of the appellants) asked the city in January if the outfall permits had been issued.

Full GroundUp report