From stinky public toilets to copper cable theft

2014-04-21 00:00

A stinky tale

THIS time it is not the Msunduzi Municipality at fault, but the KZN Department of Transport, and since it is a public holiday, Vic Fincken’s letter is worth publishing in full. It describes the difficulties endured by members of the public during the recent strike at the Mkondeni vehicle licence testing centre.

Fincken writes: “Last week, I had occasion to accompany someone to the Motor Licensing Bureau at Mkondeni. We duly arrived at 7.45 am and took up our places in the queue on the verandah along with about 70 other citizens seeking attention.

We were all very patient but the doors were not opened until 9.15 am, when we were informed that a work stoppage was in progress.

We were fortunate to be able to be seated on the hard bench inside, while most others just had to stand and wait ad nauseam.

Eventually, at about 11 am, we were informed that only those applicants who had already passed their Learner’s Licence could proceed to another office near the main entrance to obtain their printed Learner’s Licences, which we duly proceeded to do and eventually we departed at approximately noon.

In the meantime, being somewhat elderly, I needed to go to the toilet and upon arrival, I couldn’t believe the sight before my eyes. All four urinals were covered with black plastic bags and notices advising that they were out of order, so I turned to the toilets in the cubicles and three out of the four were also out of order. The fourth one was functioning, although it had no seat.

I couldn’t help but be reminded of a journey my late wife and I undertook many years ago to visit the famous bridge over the River Kwai, long before it became the tourist attraction it has become today. It was an eerie experience to walk over that same bridge that had cost so many lives in its construction during the World War 2. However, before leaving the place, we needed to find a toilet and without going into the filthy details, we always said those toilets were a most horrible experience which remained indelibly etched on our memories.

These toilets here at the Pietermaritzburg Motor Licensing Bureau almost eclipse those we were forced to utilise at the River Kwai some 25 years ago.”

The KZN Transport Department responded: “The reason why the lavatories were not working was that they were blocked. The problem is regretted and a plumber has been appointed to begin work on April 16 to rectify the situation. The inconvenience is greatly regretted.”

Cable thieves

Cable thieves struck a sub-station in Maud Avenue, Scottsville, in the early hours of the morning last Friday. Power was restored by the afternoon and for that, the residents are grateful.

However, as a result of the theft of the copper cables, several houses experienced a power surge that damaged their electrical equipment.

Msunduzi Municipality was asked whether residents could claim from the municipality for their damaged goods or would it be a case of the municipality not being liable because this was a situation of theft — an incident beyond their control.

Msunduzi’s Nqobile Madonda responded: “On April 11, we received a call that the doors to the Maud Avenue sub-station were opened. Upon investigation, it was discovered that the neutral cable had been stolen. The electricity supply to the surrounding areas had to be switched off to allow for repair work to commence. The neutral cable was replaced and supply restored at 3 pm. The matter was reported internally and the theft is being investigated.”

Madonda said that residents can forward their claims to the municipality’s insurance section and they will be dealt with like any other claims, and residents will be informed of the outcome of their claim.

On the ball

Nqobile Madonda pointed out that Witness Warriors was a bit behind the times. Last week, we said the traffic lights at the Alan Paton/Alexandra Road intersection were to be fixed.

Well, they had already been fixed the previous Thursday.

Great to find that the municipality’s robot section is on the ball.

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