City Watch

2009-07-03 00:00

FOUR pupils from Clarendon Primary School decided to celebrate a public holiday two weeks ago by going out and making a difference in their community. Instead of being idle this past Youth Day, Emma Braithwaite, Ruth Taylor, Kelly Herbert and Nicole Braithwaite decided to come together and do something constructive for their community.

The four friends picked up litter along Uplands Road in Blackridge and placed it in black refuse bags.

Naomi Hardwick, who oversees the school’s marketing and thriftshop, said they were very proud of their pupils’ efforts.

Well done, girls, for taking a keen interest in a clean environment at your tender age.

M.J. MacCallum writes: Further to my e-mail of Septemer 8, 2008 regarding my refund due for electricity charges and deposit requested for March 1, 2006 — I now move on to episode three! Would you believe that now as of June 18, 2009 — a mere nine months after you investigated my claim — the municipality has still failed to refund my money?

You forwarded my initial e-mail to City Watch to Ntobeko Ngcobo, who forwarded it to Jayshree Govender, who then forwarded it to Vinay Maharaj.

Vinay dealt with my complaint timeously and reconciled the account, leaving a credit due to me of R362,81.

I was happy with this result. Vinay then passed on the responsibility of a refund (together with her reconciliation) to Grace Gcumisa, who sent me a claim form with a different (smaller) amount written on it. I duly completed the form, deleting the offensive phrases “I/we will not hold the Msunduzi Municipality responsible for funds being transferred incorrectly. I/We indemnify the Msunduzi Municipality against any loss, damages or expenses for which they may be held liable”. (I fail to see why I should sign away all my rights against the municipality, rendering me with no recourse at all should they make a mistake), and adding the correct amount as stated in Vinay’s recon.

It is now June 18 and according to the last e-mail from Grace, the creditors’ department would do the electronic transfer on June 12.

This has not happened. It would appear that Grace only answers e-mails when these are cc-ed to colleagues and/or superiors. Please could you advise me as to how to get my money back from these people, or should I initiate legal action?

I have included the last few e-mails from Grace to me and my replies. Please note that she has not bothered to answer my last, with the relevant creditors’ department personnel e-mails.

I hope you can assist me in clearing this matter up. I really do not want any further dealings with Msunduzi Municipality and will do my utmost to make sure I live anywhere except in their jurisdiction in the future.

I find this customer non-service totally unacceptable and inexcusable. Our rates and taxes money should be used to pay salaries to people who are willing and capable of doing their jobs, not freeloaders.

Msunduzi Municipality spokeswoman Ntobeko Ngcobo responds: According to our records, the cheque has been deposited into Mrs MacCallum’s spouse’s account. We apologise for the delay that was caused from our side. However, the consumer also made her contribution to the delay. For instance, cheques made were never collected and suddenly the money had to be deposited into a different name. Nevertheless, this matter has been resolved and we thank Mrs MacCallum for her patience.

SHARON Gaydon writes: Thank you to all those who worked from the early hours of Sunday morning, June 21 (Fathers’ Day), until late that night repairing the burst water pipe at the intersection of Oribi and Jesmond roads. I am sure these workers would have been happier at home with their families, but they ensured that our water supply was restored quickly. This pipe has burst in different places before, the pipes in Scottsville being very old and worn, and one wonders what will happen when there is not enough money in the municipal budget for repairs.

Cassandra Ferreira writes: I would like to comment on the robots that have been installed at the Sanctuary and Voortrekker School intersections. I’m hoping they will make travelling a whole lot better. I would like to commend the contractors, who are from Pietermaritzburg, and were not sub-contracted from Durban, for doing their work in a neat and swift manner. Well done.

A DISGRUNTLED resident writes: Well, this is what you get when you slap your customers around. When you are rude, and treat people like animals. Customer service is something that is lacking on a huge scale at the municipality. Some staff think they own the municipality. Look at the open electricity box on Alan Paton Road, outside Stagecoach. It has been knocked over for six months now. One of these days a kid is going to be killed. PMB is slowly dying, slowly deteriorating into nothing. Wake up, PMB!

DO you take pride in your city? Then play an active role in our Take Pride in Your City campaign. Imagine the difference to our environment if each resident helped keep the city clean. Let us know about residents who are doing something so we can feature them. Let’s take pride in our surroundings, even if it’s just a street or verge.

DO you know of anyone who has taken a pro-active approach in cleaning up our city? Let us know so we can use their story to inspire others.

You can e-mail your pictures, stories and suggestions for the municipality to or

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