Long grass on neglected plot are a fire danger

2013-03-04 00:00

A NEGLECTED plot in Merrivale, allegedly owned by a provincial government department, has angered neighbours who say it poses a fire threat in winter, and is a source of snakes and rodents in the summer months.

They also complain of overgrown verges and trees falling into their yards. The plot is on the corner of Anderson and Taylor roads.

Frustrated resident Hendrik van Zyl, told The Witness that he reported the state of the plot to the department to no avail.

The plot, in the centre of a residential area, is not being maintained by either the owner or the municipality, he said.

“What will happen to our properties if there is a grass fire in winter? Our houses will burn. The owner has to keep it presentable, even if it does not have buildings or a perimeter fence around it. The grass is now over one metre tall in places and densely overgrown with some form of climber.”

He said they were tired of the property being set alight year after year during winter and panicking if the embers come across their walls towards their homes.

He said the property was a haven for snakes and rodents and that he had to keep putting out rat poison. “I can’t keep up with trying to get rid of the infestation in the ceiling,” said Van Zyl.

The ward councillor Bongani Zuma told The Witness that he understand that the plot belongs to the Department of Education. “I am shocked that the community reported this to the newspapers.” He said previously they had raised their concerns with him and he would arrange with the parks department to cut the grass on the plot.

Department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said they don’t know anything about this plot.

• mlondi.radebe@witness.co.za

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