Funeral goers delayed by tree felling

2014-10-02 00:00

A FUNERAL was delayed yesterday because the Msunduzi fire department closed Sanctuary Road while they cut down a tree.

Apart from motorists who were frustrated by the road closure, members of the Wesleyan Church were angry because those attending the funeral arrived late because the road was closed, and the noise from chainsaws made it difficult for them to begin the funeral service, which was scheduled for 10.30 am.

Carl Writh of the Wesleyan Church said they did not receive notice that the road would be closed. “We asked them for a bit of a break because we are conducting a funeral service but they have refused,” he said.

Writh said this was a controlled job and they could have allowed them to conduct the funeral service for an hour and then continue with their job. Writh said the municipality was to blame because they had ring-barked the tree.

Last Friday they had the same problem with a tree which fell across the road.

“The fire engine was quick to arrive but the electricity guys took four hours to get here and my wife was stuck here for all that time.”

The road was also closed for hours on Saturday and caused major traffic chaos as motorists travelled to Liberty Midlands Mall.

Writh said like on Friday there were no traffic officers controlling the traffic or explaining the reason for the road closure to motorists.

Msunduzi spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said due to the windy conditions the fire department felt removing the dead tree was urgent.

“We are sorry for any inconvenience caused but it was an emergency because the tree was also posing a danger to our cables,” she said.

She said traffic officers were sent to the scene to control the traffic.

“On Friday our electricity department was stretched with work and that is why it took longer for them to fix the power outages there,” said Mafumbatha.

• thobani.ngqulunga@witness.co.za

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