On a mission to beautify PMB

2015-05-07 06:00
Msunduzi Municipality’s Mbulaheni Tshivhase waters flowers and vegetables with the help of his staff on Chota Motala Road.

Msunduzi Municipality’s Mbulaheni Tshivhase waters flowers and vegetables with the help of his staff on Chota Motala Road. PHOTO: AMIL UMRAW

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ONE man has taken it upon himself to beautify Pietermaritzburg with flowers.

Driving along most of the main roads entering the city, motorists may have noticed a dash of added colour on the roadside - a bloom of reds, pinks, yellows and greens.

The initiative of brightening up the city with a “companion ­planting” strategy was a brainchild of horticulturist Mbulaheni ­Tshivhase, who is in charge of ­Msunduzi’s northern districts.

Tshivhase felt that there is a need to aesthetically improve the image of the City of Choice.

Ashamed by Msunduzi being ­labelled the dirtiest capital city ­during a Ward 28 public meeting, Tshivhase, who was appointed at the municipality last year, said he felt it was time for the Pietermaritzburg community to touch, feel and see service delivery.

“Companion planting”, as ­Mbulaheni describes it, consists of arranging plants and vegetables ­together. The project started in ­Chota Motala Road where hundreds of flowers and vegetables were ­planted on the islands from East Street to the Northdale Hospital.

Tshivhase said it all began with a call from a Springvale resident who complained of illegal dumping and poor maintenance at a substation.

Even though he is in charge of the northern suburbs only, Tshivhase has pledged to spread the project across the city, with plans for other main roads that enter the city centre such as Alan Paton Avenue, Peter Brown Drive, Sweetwaters Road and Edendale Road.

“We want to ensure that as ­workers drive from the city centre to their respective residences, their stress levels should be soothed by the aesthetics of the flowers,” ­Tshivhase said. We need residents of Msunduzi Municipality to have a sense of ­ownership and ensure that a clean and safe environment is created,” he added.

Tshivhase appealed to residents not to be tempted to pull out the plants.

“We need the City of Choice to compete with Toronto in Canada and Dubai and we can only achieve that if we look after our plants. The more beautiful our city looks, the higher the property values will go,” Tshivhase said

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