More brickbats than bouquets, but at least the errant tractor driver owns up

2014-06-16 00:00

Empty promises

This week we have to ask the question: What about oversight at Msunduzi Municipality and do supervisors and managers check up on staff sent out to do jobs?

In Witness Warriors on Monday, May 12, we wrote of a long-standing complaint about a job left incomplete after the Msunduzi Municipality started to fix a water leak at the corner of Ritchie and Alexandra roads. By this stage it was already standing for more than six weeks.

Well, the leak was not properly fixed because the hole was filled with water, which then started to overflow and run down the gutter. We called the response from the municipality positive and even printed the instruction from the supervisor to the staff. “I need this leak to be repaired immediately then backfilled and reinstated asap”, the instruction said. In fact, the supervisor said — and this was also published at the time — that he found the situation worse than was described by The Witness.

But more than a month later this instruction has not been followed. James Mills wrote on Friday that nothing had been fixed — the gaping hole stood, and more water was pouring from the leak. “A vagrant was seen taking two buckets of water out of the hole in the mornings and there is more water running down the gutter daily,” Mills said.

So there you have it — a half-completed job left to stand for months. The safety tape has just about worn off and the supervisor’s words … that he wants this fixed “asap”, totally ignored.

Makes you wonder who’s in charge down at city hall.

What has the answer got to do

with the question?

Have a look at resident Moraig Peden’s concern and the response received from the municipality:

Peden writes: “I’m trying to get the municipality to clean up Manning/Bishopstowe Road that runs through Eastwood and Glenwood. It is in a shocking state, with ongoing littering as well as dumping. I e-mailed the Msunduzi call centre about this on March 25, but got no reply. Two weeks later I e-mailed again and my e-mail was forwarded from Lindiwe Khoza to Bongani Nxele. Thereafter nothing happened. The streets are still filthy and getting worse.

“It seems that only the streets in the inner suburbs are cleaned regularly. Those in the outlying suburbs are just ignored. But everyone has to pay rates. This is really unfair.

“There needs to be regular ongoing clean-ups. There is also a need for a patrol vehicle to apprehend dumpers and fine them. The fines can be used to subsidise the monitoring. There is no point coming to clean the road once every two or three years!”

Peden’s e-mail was sent to the municipality and the following response was received as a reply. The Communications Unit said that, “The response from Waste Management is that all their Monday operations will be normal from 7 am till 15.45 pm.”

Using Msunduzi’s

name in vain

Residents in free-standing homes in the Prestbury area — in the Quince, Hillside road section to be precise — found the following notice pushed under doors, into post boxes and stuck on lamposts. It said:

“Please note All rubbish bins must be put out on a Tuesday morning between 6 am and 8 am, not on a Monday night. Failing to comply with the order a fine of R5 000 will be billed to your light accounts. Please let your maids and tanents (sic) know. Thank you Management,”

There were some pretty irate residents who thought that this notice with no letterhead had come from the municipality.

Msunduzi spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said the municipality had nothing to do with the note, which purports to be from “management” indirectly implicating the Msunduzi Municipality, as only the municipality has the authority to issue electricity, water, rates and taxes accounts in the Pietermaritzburg area.

Mafumbatha said that in fact there was no bylaw that regulates the timeframe as suggested in the note in which domestic waste should be put outside for collection. “The Msunduzi Municipality views the issuing of the note in a serious light as this constitutes fraud and will investigate the origin in an attempt to bring the fraudster(s) to book.”

Culprit owns up

Last week we wrote about a municipal tractor outside the central clinic opposite Natalia that blocked the path of a doctor who was rushing to see patients. The municipality sent Witness Warriors a profound apology from the errant worker who explained that he was cutting grass on the Otto’s Bluff Road when the slasher broke. He had returned to the Parks Department to fix it and while there, received a call from a family member at the clinic that they needed his signature as the medical aid holder. He thought he was going to rush in, sign and rush out, but this did not happen. He has been chastised by his department and it is hoped that not only he but others in the municipality have learnt a lesson — that as employees of the city, they must lead by example in following the city’s by-laws

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