If you drive in and out of the CBD for work, you have a good idea of how cars are on the road. No matter what direction you drive in, you are guaranteed to the be stuck in traffic during peak times. With all those cars, slowly moving along and constantly emitting fumes, it comes as no surprise that cars are the biggest source of air pollution in Cape Town.

According to the City of Cape Town, vehicle traffic accounts for 66% of visible air pollution. This is something they desperately want to reduce and it can only be done with our co-operation. While we do have an excellent public transport system, and car-pooling will help reduce the number of cars on the road, this does not really put a dent in the number of cars on the road.

It is impractical to expect people just stop using their cars, so instead the city is lobbying for healthier cars on the road. All cars emit smoke, but cars that emit dark smoke are causing more harm. There is an Air Quality Management by-law that prohibits the use of vehicles that emit dark smoke. Thus, the City of Cape Town’s Health Directorate is asking the public to report excessive smoke emissions in vehicles.

When a vehicle emitting dark smoke is spotted by the public, the owners are requested to have a free emissions test conducted. Should the vehicle fail the test, a repair notice will be served on the owner, affording them the opportunity to have the vehicle repaired and to submit it for a re-test.

So while you are sitting in that traffic that you can’t avoid, and you see a car that is spewing heavy dark smoke, report it o the City’s Air Quality Management Unit. You can call them during office hours on +27 21 590 5200. You need to give them the following information: the registration number of the vehicle; the make and model; the location and direction of travel; and the date and time that the observation was made.

While you are being a good citizen, why not also report any water waste you see? We are currently under level 2 water restrictions due to the nationwide drought and if you see any evidence of water being wasted, you can report it on 0860 103 089. We all need to pitch in to sustain our city’s resources, keep it clean and make it great.

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