Howick group mobilise to motivate move to metro for Msunduzi

2008-04-22 00:00

Support for Msunduzi Municipality becoming a metro is mounting and the latest group to back the proposal is the Howick Concerned Ratepayers’ and Residents’ group.

Like their counterparts in the Hilton Residents’ Association, the Howick group have sent a submission to the municipal demarcation board.

They give various reasons for backing the proposal put forward by the board, from dissatisfaction with the performance of the uMngeni Municipality to seeing better economic and employment prospects for residents in the area if they are part of a metro.

A key theme in the submission is their belief that the municipality has failed to capitalise on the tourism and development potential of the area. Examples given include:

• That the new waste-recycling facility has been “incorrectly placed” on a site not belonging to the municipality, poses a health hazard to the CBD and has been erected near Howick’s prime asset, the Howick Falls.

• The failure to upgrade essential services in keeping with the large property developments that have taken place, resulting in a strain on sewerage plant capacity and domestic waste disposal, leading to these sites being the main source of pollution to the Midmar Dam resort and the falls.

• The proposed “Howick Falls Master Plan” that will see the phasing out of the Howick Falls caravan park.

Claude Edwards of the ratepayers’ group says the park is used by both the caravan club and the motor homes club as a rally venue and the park has been promoted in overseas caravanning and motor home circles.

• The failure to upgrade the Howick Falls heritage site.

According to Edwards, by becoming part of the Msunduzi Metro, “uMngeni would power ahead as an integral part of a more efficient, effective and responsive local government. Such a move offers the best hope of improving service delivery and would enable our own commerce and industrial sector to contribute more effectively towards … employment opportunities”.

But he also listed concerns about Howick becoming a metro, including:

• Fair distribution of revenue and assets to Howick, Hilton and adjoining areas;

• Adequate satellite offices, and

• Adequate provision for the repair and maintenance of the crumbling road system in surrounding areas.

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