Shoddy work on pavement a hazard

2014-07-21 00:00

Shoddy work

SOLLY Ganie called to say that three weeks ago staff from the water section dug up the pavement outside his shop at 480 Church Street to fix a leaking water pipe.

When the leak was fixed, workmen covered the trenches and put the pavement blocks back in place. But they did a haphazard job that left the pavement uneven. Large gaps were left between the pavement slabs and they were not evenly placed. Ganie said he counted at least eight people who had tripped in front of his shop. He phoned and complained but got no joy.

The last straw for him was when a 70-year-old woman fell. He contacted Witness Warriors and said the municipality was lucky that she did not break any bones. However, she was traumatised by her bloody knees and was in a state of shock.

He urged the municipality to sort out the problem as a matter of urgency before any more people were hurt.

The municipality responded that a seven-day quotation had to be obtained for the repairs to be done. They said the process was completed and that contactors would start work on July 15. Well, July 15 has come and gone and the work has not yet started.

Air pollution controls

Following Erika Rosslind’s complaint about foul smells emanating from the Mason’s Mill area, the Msunduzi Municipality has sent a detailed response on how residents can go about lodging complaints about bad odours. The section tasked with these functions is the city’s environmental health unit.

With regards to Rosslind’s complaint, the municipality responded that in the Edendale-Pentrich industrial area, there were several possible sources of odour emissions, making it difficult at times to apportion responsibility to one factory. In addition, Pietermaritzburg was situated in a basin and, therefore, experienced temperature inversions that trap air pollutants.

Msunduzi spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said that the environmental health unit had received four complaints in the past six months of odours (either chemical or sewer) in the Pelham, Scottsville and central CBD areas. She said that following the most recent complaint, the district Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) will monitor the industries in this area on a more frequent basis. She asked Rosslind to contact environmental health the next time she gets a whiff of the unpleasant factory emission for an immediate response to the complaint.

“Due to the fact that there are several industries in the Edendale and surrounding area of Pelham, it might be premature to pin point the source of the odour to one specific industry, thus additional information will be needed from the complainant to determine the actual source of the odour. Information such as time of exposure, duration of odour, whether it occurs at night or morning and a description of the odour itself will assist in determining the actual source. Complainants are given an odour information form that can be completed and will assist us in investigating the complaints,” Mafumbatha said.

Witness Warriors has a copy of the odour information form, which it will be forwarding to Rosslind.

Complainants can contact the environmental health sub-unit with the following numbers: Mondays to Fridays between 7.30 am and 4 pm at 033 392 2344/45, and after hours and on weekends you can contact the Fire and Rescue call centre at 080 003 3911 or 033 845 5911.

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