That dog poop on the beach has made it to the headlines of the Cape Argus is ironic since poop has been in the news for many diverse reasons. First we had the toilet wars in the informal settlements. Then we had the toilet warriors going wild at airports and so on. Recently we had the poo attack at UCT on Cecil John Rhodes where the attackers were hailed as revolutionaries for transformation.
It was thus a question of time before dog poop made it to the headlines. Opening the paper over breakfast and reading about dog poop ironically does not go down well. Having said that, the City must be commended for its veto of dogs from some public sites as it is evident that there are many among us that are reckless.
Example, recently I was at Hout Bay beach with my family when a white couple allowed their dog to run across the dog restricted part of the beach. The dog ran far ahead of the couple and then decided to urinate on the picnic baskets of a brown family that was many metres away enjoying the ocean.
By the time the brown family reached their picnic basket the dog was done urinating. The white couple express regret and walked away fast. The brown family was to exasperated to respond and by the time they started voicing their outrage the white couple and their dog were gone.
By walking away fast the white couple avoided a possible racial altercation as other brown families began to express their indignation at the incident. What I gathered from this and other incidences was that those who live near beaches and other recreational sites often regard these expanses as their cloistered sites and those who visit the sites on a public holiday and weekend as likely intruders.
Ironically in Walmer Estate where I live, the residents are mostly brown people and the pavements remain regularly soiled by dog poop. This makes a walk to the shop or Mosque an adventure. Even the public parks are not secure from dog owners who use the location as public toilet for their pets.
Regular walks at Deer’s Park and the Lions head trail suggest that some dog owners actually do not give a damn. As some-one who feeds the neighbours cats and who has a family hamster and a parrot, I appreciate the need to have a pet.
However besides the no-go areas I suggest that the City also introduce a costly dog licence. The City could also encourage job creation by allowing locals to video or photo a guilty dog owner who refuses to clean up after their dog. For a commission on the fine we could encourage a new revenue stream and teach dog owners a vital lesson in civil liability.
The bigger and more dangerous the dog the more the annual fee should be, since everyone knows that in some townships thugs breed dangerous dogs with which to deliberately threaten others.
In the words of the wise, some people cannot learn without knowing discomfort.
Cllr Yagyah Adams
Cape Muslim Congress