Tuesday, December 21, 2010


An article   "Allergieë weg' ná bome afgekap is"  appeared  in Die Burger on 21/12/2010


Just why is it that our local Municipalities are in such a mess?  Why is it that they do as they please, that they break the law and that they feel they do not need to consult with the ratepayers, those soft targets that actually pay their salaries?  Who put them in their positions of "power" in the first place?   We have all read of the high incidence of corruption to be found at Municipal level and the breakdown of their service levels.

With regards to the article above, we at The TATIB Foundation are of the opinion that the real cause of the high "allergy" levels in Paarl & Stellenbosch is in fact due to the use of the Fungicides and Pesticides used to spray the surrounding vineyards.  In this regard, our cluster of medical practitioners have noted that the number of "allergy" related complaints peaks during the spraying season.  

If one looks at the warnings contained on the Product Labels and Material Safety Data Sheets, of most of the chemicals sprayed on the vineyards, there are clear warnings that exposure to the spray drift of these products will cause eye, nose and upper respiratory tract irritation.  Before my family & I moved to "The Boland" we never suffered from any form of "hayfever" . It was only after we were exposed to spray drift from nearby vineyards that our allergies started to take hold.  When we sold our house and moved back to Cape Town, our allergies vanished.  The doctors that we consulted all told us that it was our exposure to the agricultural chemicals that caused our "allergies" .

Both Drakenstein  & Stellenbosch Municipalities, have been spraying the Oak trees of Paarl & Stellenbosch with a cocktail of fungicides [for dons skimmel / powdery mildew]. The products that they have admitted to using have been Tilt, Bumper & Rubigan.  The Product Labels of these fungicides clearly state that exposure to the spray drift and volatile compounds will cause allergies. 

Drakenstein, in its written warnings, has told all residents to stay indoors during the spraying of the oak trees and to close all doors and windows. The spraying has also been done under cover of darkness, more than likely so as to minimize human exposure and to reduce the number of complaints [if you don’t witness the spraying then you cant complain!]  Drakenstein Municipality is also of the opinion that its spraying of the oak trees is lawful, which in fact it is not.  Its actually a violation of Act 36 of 1947 to allow spray drift of any registered agricultural chemical to be blown into an area not under treatement.  So when Drakenstein Municipality, under cover of darkness [for obvious reasons] sprays the oak trees in public streets, and the resulting spray drift gets blown into the gardens and open windows of the sleeping residents, Act 36 of 1947 has been violated and Drakenstein Municipality should be found guilty of a criminal offence.

The TATIB Foundation has received numerous complaints from Paarl & Stellenbosch residents regarding the spraying of the oak trees and the side effects suffered by the residents. Stellenbosch Muncip has now stated that it no longer sprays the Oak trees with fungicides, and only uses a foliar feed, as it was found that the fungicides caused allergic reactions.

To blame 5 old "seringa bome"  for the high incidence of hayfever & allergies in the area is really unjustified. If you look at an aerial photo of Paarl you will see that it is surrounded by vineyards and when these vineyards are sprayed, the spray drift generated can only get blown into the residential areas.  Perhaps the park next to Mrs Geldenhuys was also sprayed with a herbicide and that this could have been the cause of her allergies ?   What about the high pollen count caused by the "Port Jacksons " in the area? What proof does Geldenhuys have that the allergies were caused by the seringa trees in the park ?

Perhaps the Oak trees should also be removed as they are not indigenous? And then what about the vineyards, they too are not indigenous and in fact are not suited to the high humidity of the area – hence so many fungal problems?

We suggest that you all go and take a look at the following link :


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