Councillors to join trench warfare

2014-11-28 00:00

MSUNDUZI councillors are ready to join residents in their trench war against cable companies who are ­digging up the city and leaving a mess in their wake.

At yesterday’s full council sitting, councillor Garnet Mlethe said that as councillors they had to answer to their communities who wanted to know about the mess being left by the trench diggers. Mlethe said ­councillors needed advice on what to say to communities and on how to hold companies working in their wards accountable.

The Witness reported yesterday that downtown residents were ready to go to war over the mess being left by the shoddy trench-diggers. In the main they appear to be contractors working for different companies laying out fibre optic cables for faster telecommunications connectivity. Under the Communications Act, companies involved with the project do not have to get permission from municipalities to dig up sidewalks in towns and cities to lay these cables.

Councillor Najma Ahmed urged the council leadership to speak to the minister of Telecommunications about the problem.

Mlethe added that the council had also to address the issue that ­community members were not being employed in these projects.

Meanwhile, there is still confusion about who the diggers of the different trenches are as none of the work sites has signage giving details of the companies.

Businesses in Retief Street remain convinced that their problems were caused by the municipality and not the cable companies.

Msunduzi’s roads and transport division has undertaken to find out who was working in Retief Street.

• nalini@witness.co.za

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