This photo was taken last Friday by photographer Jean Tresfon and shows what appears to be a giant volume of sewerage in Table Bay.

Jean’s photo, currently doing the rounds on Facebook, was posted along with this caption:

‘Another shit day in Cape Town! While flying around the coast on Friday it was impossible to miss the sight of sewerage spewing into the ocean at full volume from several different sources. While I have commented on this previously it remains a shocking sight. It only takes a light westerly wind and this mess blows straight back to shore. Surfers and kayakers have been getting badly sick and the smell is unbelievable.’

No official explanation has yet been provided by the City of Cape Town except for the statement that they cannot confirm what it is and that they are investigating further. It was also communicated that if the mysterious object was in fact sewerage, then there would have been seagulls. Below is the response, as discussed on Cape Talk.

city of cape town sewerage response

However, another image was uploaded by the photographer – this time a close-up clearly showing seagulls having an off-day from their antics at the V&A and having a field day at the white patch.


The caption Jean provided with the image painted a picture about the specifics of the ‘white dots’ in the photo:

‘So this “plume” is 1.7 km from the shore at Green Point as marked on my GPS, probably a co-incidence then that the actual sewerage outlet is supposed to be at this exact spot. The diffusers obviously don’t work so well on a perfectly calm and windless day, the photo doesn’t lie. As for the seagulls, the image was taken from 1500ft up and only a low-res shot was posted, of course you can’t see a seagull! But in case anyone thinks I dream this stuff up, here’s a more zoomed shot… see all those white dots? Yep, you guessed it, seagulls! As for no proof of the outfall impacting negatively on the surf zones, tell that to the people who have gotten really sick from the water here recently. Happy to provide a name or two if needed.’

We’re eager to see what the results of the investigation conclude. In the meantime, we’re hoping that the reported stench around Sea Point is at a minimum.

Article written by


We love this place! Cape Town Etc features news, reviews, entertainment and lifestyle in the Mother City.