Litter leader inspires residents

2009-09-18 00:00

BULWER Street residents cannot stop singing the praises of Ronel Wood, whom they label as a “beacon when it comes to setting an example”.

Speaking on behalf of her neighbours, Janet Edwards said that after the elderly woman who used to clean up the area left three years ago, Wood became the chief motivator who inspired the other residents to keep the place clean.

“We all go out regularly now and pick up the litter that other people deposit in our neighbourhood. You would be horrified at what is left around,” said Edwards.

Bulwer Street must be one of the cleanest streets in the city, said Edwards.

She said that earlier in the year, after a tragedy in the neighbourhood, the residents have become more aware not only of their surroundings, but also of each because of the unifying experience of working together to keep the area clean.

“Accolades to Ronel as our litter leader,” said Edwards.

Wood is a keen environmentalist who recently penned an eco-story for which she was also the musical director. The story was performed at the Eco Indaba by pupils of Russell Girls’ High and Maritzburg College.

Wood believes that property owners should make an effort to keep the area around their properties as clean as possible. She feels that the municipality should do more to encourage cleanliness by picking up refuse bags filled by street cleaners on the same day instead of leaving them on the pavement for a week. Some schools are doing a wonderful job of recycling and cleaning up and this should be commended publicly, Wood added.

BUKS Jordaan writes:

In Northern Park where I stay, I never see dogs roaming the streets.

I and almost all my neighbours have dogs and they are never a nuisance or a danger to road users.

About every day on my way to and from where I work there are cattle in the Napierville, Blackridge area.

On some mornings, they are even in Alexandra Park’s Princess Margaret Drive.

About two years ago when a dog did roam freely in my area, I phoned the dog licensing department and they told me I must take it up personally with the owner. I did not know the owner, I had to get the SPCA to come and fetch the dog. A week later the dog was back and the story repeated itself until I just gave up … the dog was killed in the road.

•What would the damages be if I drove into a cow — death and/or huge damage to my car and nobody to claim from?

•Is this dog licence thing not something of the old era where neighbourhoods did not have fences and dogs became a nuisance? Today all the dogs in my area are behind fences and the owner is responsible.

•Why are there only dog licences and not cat licences or for that matter cattle licences or any other licences for all the other animals in our city?

•Is this then an outflow of unfair discrimination towards dog owners?

•Is this easy money just because they know our addresses and our neighbourhood is easily accessible for inspections?

•Lastly, what do they do with this money if they do not respond to complaints?

Ntobeko Ngcobo responds: There are by-laws relating to the keeping of dogs and all other issues related to dogs. These are the by-laws that our licensing department has to apply to all dog owners. These by-laws call for any owner of a dog to pay a licensing fee to the council and have a valid licence and a certificate of vaccination against rabies. The by-laws also state that any person who contravenes any provisions of the by-laws shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or imprisonment.

There are by-laws in relation to the keeping of other animals such as cattle, horses, mules, donkeys, ponies, pigs, sheep, goats, or rabbits.

The dog by-laws will be revised in due course and will form part of the discussions relating to the revision of by-laws and this applies to the keeping of other animals as well.

A RESIDENT writes: Here is the perfect opportunity for this municipality to make some money (other than from ratepayers) and create employment. Train up a bunch of guys and let them ticket the people who park in parking bays all day. They can get paid a commission on the tickets they give out and every­one wins, plus we get the unemployed off the streets.

A RESIDENT writes: Our main library in Church Street does not even have parking facilities for its patrons. The parking is taken up entirely by court workers and nearby business owners. Come on, powers that be … do something about lack of parking!

ANONYMOUS writes: Why doesn’t the municipality employ some decent people with some experience in dealing with the public in a polite manner? It’s absurd that employees have not yet learned the correct manner of dealing with irate members of the public. For those who don’t know: the customer is always right! (yes, even when they’re wrong) and an apologetic manner goes a long way to defusing a situation.

Let us know about residents who are actively doing something about the state of filth in the city. You can e-mail your pictures, stories and suggestions to Shamase@jhb.naspers.co.za.

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