Pensioner’s hell with root of evil

2016-08-10 06:00

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PENSIONER Betty Pink (85) has lived in her house for 31 years. For 18 of these years she has been struggling with the roots of two trees that have grown under the foundation.

According to her, the roots are causing extensive damage to the foundation and the boundary wall.
The widow said she has contacted the municipality numerous times to assist, but to no avail.

“I have had to pay to have the apron around my house removed because the paving has become uneven. I pay my rates and I feel the municipality should take responsibility for removing the trees and roots. These trees are not in my yard, they are on the verge which is municipal ground.”

Ward Councillor for the area, Gustav Rautenbach, said he is aware of Pink’s complaints, and added that there had been efforts to investigate her claims.

According to the report, a trench was dug on January 2, 2016 against the boundary wall but not even a single root was found.

Rautenbach added that on a second visit officials found that the two Silky Oak trees had been poisoned.

“The official’s report stated trees had been drilled and poisoned at the bottom. The sap was coming out of the poisoned wounds and the trees are in a state of shock losing many leaves,” Rautenbach said.

Pink’s concerned neighbour, who did not want to be named, said it was ridiculous that the officials insinuated that Pink herself poisoned the tree. “She is 85 years old! How is she going to poison a tree? She keeps hearing different stories from the municipality when she complains and I feel like she is being treated as if she is senile, like she has nothing better to do than complain about the trees, so nobody takes her seriously. There is proof that the roots are damaging the house but the municipality doesn’t want to take responsibility for their negligence,” the neighbour said.

Rautenbach said that the municipality would never remove a tree unless there is very good reason to do so.

“As a councillor I have striven for Lorraine to be a leafy suburb with a rich birdlife. We have planted over 1300 indigenous trees and have been actively involved in green projects. The municipality will never just remove a tree. The only chance of that happening is when the tree is a hazard to human or animal life or property. In the case of Mrs Pink, investigations have established that the trees do not pose any such threats.”

Rautenbach added that he would visit Pink shortly to personally perform another inspection.

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