Tips on how to get results

2013-09-09 00:00

Road complaints fall on deaf ears

BRIAN Sim wrote about the entire intersection of Townbush and Chase Valley roads being in darkness since an accident in March knocked out a lamp post on the island. He pointed out that this was a very busy intersection and there was also a lot of pedestrian traffic in the area due to its being near Grey’s Hospital.

“This is a very dangerous situation and also puts the residents of the Moth Cottages and SA War Memorial Homes at risk, as the gates entering these complexes are in complete darkness on the road side,” said Sim.

Since his letter there were numerous complaints from readers who were disappointed that these lights were not fixed before the recent MTB world cycling championships held at Cascades.

Msunduzi municipal spokesperson Brian Zuma responded the problem was taking longer to fix because of a cable fault and that it was receiving attention.

Accolades from a grateful resident:

“MY name is David King, I am 75 years old and left PMB in 1955. Having returned here in 2006 I was horrified at how my birthplace had been left to wrack and ruin. But now slowly things seem to be happening to rectify matters.

“I telephoned the toll-free number, 0800 001 868, on the 14th August 2013 and asked if the road markings could be painted in Murray Road, and a road sign showing Murray Road could be erected at the top of Hesketh [Drive].

“I was completely astounded to see them here on the 26th August 2013 painting the lines, which they completed by the 30th.

“Somebody must be listening at last. But no road sign yet.”

The forgotten suburb

FRANS Bezuidenhout wrote: “I stay in Lynfield Park. This suburb was and still is the forgotten orphan suburb of the municipality.

“There is no maintenance taking place at all. The verges are overgrown and if we are lucky, it gets cut just before an event like the Comrades.

“There is an illegal taxi rank at the suburb entrance, which is not policed in any way. There are no toilet facilities for this rank and the passengers and drivers use the overgrown verges as toilets.

“Not to mention the mess as drivers clean out their taxis and throw the rubbish all over the area.

“I have complained to both the NPC and the RTI about this numerous times, to no avail.

“The main problem is that the road surface of Lynn Drive has at least 30 potholes and has now deteriorated to the point that there is almost no road surface left. People are now using the verges to pass, creating a new road and the problems that go with that.

“I have reported this also too many times to note with no assistance or feedback from the municipality.”

Ward councillor Sandy Lyne responded voicing her own frustrations and some helpful hints on what residents can do to get through to the municipality.

Lyne wrote:

I am aware of all the problems mentioned in the letter you got and the ward committee and I do our best to bring them to the attention of the officials concerned, repeatedly, with limited success. There are ways to improve communication with the officials. If you have a complaint, phone the call centre — 033 392 2955.

The call centre operates 24/7 (I find it easier to get through in the evening for non-emergency issues).

The complaints are logged and the caller is given a reference number.

Detailed statistics of the calls and the responses are kept (other means of communication e.g. e-mails, SMS, WhatsApp, tweets etc are not logged and do not get reference numbers).

For example; if a pothole is reported via the call centre it is likely to be repaired more quickly than if an e-mail is sent.

The statistics from the call centre are used by management to decide what roads, water pipes etc need longer term attention.

I therefore appeal to you all to start calling in ALL the issues concerning you. Hopefully our ward will get more attention. So many residents have given up trying.

If the issue is not resolved then please send me an e-mail explaining the issue, your address, cellphone number, when you called and the reference number so that I may follow up.

My e-mail address is sandylyne@sai.co.za

When you send me an e-mail I add you to my list and you will then receive e-mails keeping you informed of the issues in the ward.

The more e-mails I get the better as I can use them to add weight to my requests to the officials.

I am hoping that if we all try to do this we might see an improvement.

More useful advice

RECENTLY residents of Francis Street in the city centre called in to complain about seemingly lazy municipal workers from the electricity department. They said a truck arrived in the street more than two hours earlier. The one worker went up in the bucket, presumably to fix a problem on a lamppost. He was there for a very short time and then came down again. No more work appeared to be carried out and the workers allegedly spent their time talking. Residents were concerned about the time wasted, saying time was money.

They were also concerned that this time-wasting could be related to stretching the job to claim overtime.

The head of the electricity department, Sabata Nomnga­nga, thanked the residents for their concern. He advised the Pietermaritzburg community that the next time they observe what appears to be workers wasting time, it was best to take down the relevant vehicle numberplates as this would help track them.

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