City acts against ‘clean-up’ firm

2015-09-17 06:00
                                                                                                                                                           ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????PHOTO: Ian Carbutt
A man walks past

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????PHOTO: Ian Carbutt A man walks past

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THE city has slapped the company responsible for the removal of outdated and illegal signage with a notice of breach of contract after months of inaction.

While the city and Tutu Communications are embroiled in a legal tussle, the CBD and other areas continue to be swamped with illegal signs and posters.

The executive committee of the Msunduzi Municipality says the Gauteng-based company has not been performing its duties and expect it to “remedy all items of breach”.

DA councillor Rodger Ashe says the Tutu Communications contract should have been cancelled a long time ago.

“I am not surprised that this company was served a notice of breach. They are not doing a good job, yet they are getting paid,” said Ashe.

He said following the notice of breach, he hopes the council “does the right thing and cancels its contract”.

Tutu Communications, known for its ambient advertising for Telkom and 8-ta, has been contracted by the municipality since January 2013.

Apart from taking charge of street advertising in the city, the company was also tasked with cleaning up all illegal and unauthorised advertising signage.

“People are doing as they like in Msunduzi and no one seems worried about the by-laws.

“I would love to know how many people or companies have been prosecuted­ for illegal activities in breach of our city’s by-laws,” said Ashe.

It is unclear how much Tutu Communications was being paid every month, the terms of the contract, when last it provided a service to the city, and whether it had in fact fined anyone for breaching the city’s by-laws.

City spokesperson Nqobile Madonda responded to queries saying the matter is confidential.

“Any comments made by the municipality may result in legal action,” she said.

The municipality says it has conducted investigations into all departments regarding illegal operations in the city and will use “Operation Susa Zonke”, the city’s strategy to clean up Msunduzi’s streets of all illegal activities including illegal signage, the removal of scrap metal and illegal structures.

The operation will also see the creation of a dedicated lane for pedestrians. The council said they will be tackling all illegal buildings, tuck shops, taverns and illegal motor mechanics operating in the city.

“This activity creates a very untidy situation as well as being a danger to motorists and pedestrians,” read the report to council.

The municipal traffic and security department said they will immediately remove vehicles that are a “wilful obstruction”.

In other cases, traffic officers will consult with the panel beaters and informal motor mechanics and thereafter they will be served notice.

If there is still no result the vehicle will be towed away.

Pedestrians were also taken into account when the city approved a non-motorised transportation (NMT) plan to create a lane along the road dedicated for foot traffic only.

“The NMT does not talk about closure­ of lanes since roadways are already constrained.

“External spaces along the road, but within the road reserve, must be found or expropriation of land may be required,” read the report to council.

Municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi said the resolution of these issues will contribute greatly to service delivery for city ratepayers

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