Hayfields man shows he cares

2009-07-16 00:00

DUE to Stanley Ward’s initiative, youngsters living in the vicinity of Wilhelm Cox Cresent in Hayfields no longer have to play in the street.

Ward said the dismal state of the park forced youngsters to play on the road and there were concerns that one day a child would be hit by a car. He mobilised two of his workers, Elias Mkhize and Bernard Mndaweni, to help him keep the open ground neat and tidy.

Not only do they cut the grass, they also trim the trees and make sure that the gutters are clear of grass and weeds. Ward even bought, from his own funds, a springkaan lawnmower, heavy duty cutter and a weeder with which to work with. Because of these three men’s efforts, children are now able to play games such as cricket, rugby and soccer in the park.

Youngsters are not the only ones who have used the well-kept grounds to their advantage. Golfing enthusiasts have also taken to the grounds to practise their swing.

Ward said he and his team have been doing this for the past three months and his wife Ann said they are overwhelmed by the positive response they have received from people living in the area.

“He is thanked by all the neighbours when he and his labourers are doing the cuttings with a hoot of the car or a wave and some of them have even offered to contribute black bags for the grass cuttings,” said Ann.

Ward said some have offered to pay for the petrol the mower used while they were cleaning up while some want to pay his workers for the stellar job they do in maintaining the park.

Ward wants to sustain the project and recently bought a sprinkler for the grassy area.

“The trees were hanging so low before we started trimming them that people couldn’t walk under them,” said Ward.

He said he plans to get flowering trees and plant them against the residential walls that border the park.

Ann commended the parks and recreation department for promptly and willingly collecting the black refuse bags when contacted.

A CONCERNED citizen writes: The failure to deliver just one swimming facility during winter clearly indicates the ineffectiveness of a municipal department that our first citizen and the city manager seem unconcerned about. Yet had this business unit been owned by the private sector, rest assured, it would have been shut without any hesitation.

Nevertheless, while the heaters are functioning and in order [at Buchanan Street swimming pool], the water temperature is not suitable for winter swimming because this facility is not being covered. It’s not that there are no covers. There have been since last year because new covers were purchased for this facility, which to date remain (brand new) in wrappers waiting to be installed. While officials are still deciding when to install these covers, much strain is placed on the heaters, which most certainly would buckle.

Furthermore, during the first week of June, the water was green. I need to emphasise again, this is just one swimming facility that is in question (the others are closed for winter). This is the extent to what service delivery has sunk.

The Msunduzi Municipality failed to respond by the time of going to print.

An anonymous resident writes:With reference to a meeting held by officials from Parks and Recreation at Newholmes Hotel on November 19, 2008 (the launch of a Msunduzi North Sports Association), a letter by the lifeguard at the Olympic swimming pool (Witness, March 30, 2009) and two applications by two different clubs to hire Buchanan Street swimming pool for winter, — concerned persons would appreciate answers to the following:

1. Regarding the MNSA launch, people that attended this meeting were promised that a follow-up meeting would be held shortly, eight months have passed without any such meeting, why? This results in the failure of the MNSA materializing.

2. The lifeguard in that letter of the March 30, 2009, indicated that there was evidence that the parking project would commence soon. To date, three months have passed with no signs that any improvements would be undertaken — will this improvement ever emerge?

3. Two organizations had applied before winter to use the heated Buchanan Street swimming pool. Two winter months have passed without any response. Why?

4 Covers were purchased for the Buchanan Street pool last year and to date remain uninstalled. Why? (One of the main causes for the heater failure.)

City Watch I would appreciate remaining anonymous in this letter, due to an unpleasant telephonic encounter I had with an official from Parks and Recreation.

The Msunduzi Municipality failed to respond by the time of going to print.

Rushbrook resident Trish Collocott writes : I took this photo of the City Engineers’ Department car park on the May 30. This tree has been in the same position since storms late last year. I wonder if they are going to remove it soon as they appear to be cleaning up along the wall that runs between the bridge in Mayor’s Walk and this office.

It will also be interesting to see if someone will be removing the debris from a tree on the verge, that lies outside the house between this site and the Police Department in Mayor’s Walk. I say this as someone from the department, perhaps the Parks Department is actually in the throes of trimming the Jacaranda trees nearby and it would make sense to continue clearing it all up.

Why is it called Mayor’s Walk? Should it be a road that is adopted by the Mayor’s office in the “Adopt-A-Spot campaign”? It is a direct route to the National Botanic Gardens.

The Msunduzi Municipality failed to respond by the time of going to print.

However, Collocott wrote the following yesterday: I am delighted to announce that the tree and garden refuse problem at Mayor’s Walk has been sorted out, in front of and adjacent to the City Engineers Department! Wow! That was fast work or was it coincidence?

MRS Chris McEvilly writes: I would like to express my thanks to the electricity department for their quick repair of the street light that was knocked over outside Briar-cliffe, Ireland Road, on Saturday evening.


Trish Collocott writes: In light of a recent request from this paper, I would like to thank the gentleman and his helper who were cleaning up outside the Alex Open Air swimming pool on Saturday morning. I think they were from the Joey’s towing company truck parked nearby. I also noticed a well-known resident cleaning the pavement and gutters near the Botanic Gardens on Saturday afternoon. Well done and thank you. You are keeping my hope alive.

FOLLOW the example of Maritzburgers participating in the Take Pride in Your City campaign by keeping parts of the city clean.

You could cut grass verges, pick up litter or generally tidy up a section of your street.

You will need grass cutting equipment, rubber gloves and rubbish bags.

Send stories and photos of your efforts to City Watch’s Take Pride in Your City campaign to: nelly@witness.co.za or citywatch@witness.co.za

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 actively doing something about the state of filth and neglect in the city so we can feature them on our pages. Let’s all 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 nelly@witness.co.za or citywatch@witness.co.za.

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