Municipality shows signs of change

2013-11-18 00:00

A disaster waiting to happen

Derelict and disused buildings in Jabu Ndlovu Street, behind the Premier’s office, have become the hang-out of vagrants and street children who are harassing passers-by, and employees in the area.

According to people who work in the area, the incidents of cellphone and bag-snatching have increased and it is only a matter of time before someone is stabbed or molested.

The employees said they are fed up of complaining to the municipality and to the police as nothing has been done.

The buildings were supposed to have been demolished a long time ago, to make way for a parking lot and an extension to the Premier’s office.

Claire Crawley of the Pietermaritzburg Central (Loop Street) Community Policing Forum said she had written to the Msunduzi Municipality in July this year regarding the same problem and understands that the problem lies with the eviction of those inhabiting the buildings. “The legalities of this are, I believe, being dealt with at the moment,” said Crawley, adding that since being contacted by Witness Warriors she has been in communication with the municipality’s security division and that Safe City was monitoring the area with cameras.

Acting chairperson of the Pietermaritzburg Central ommunity Policing Forum (CPF) Gerald Harry said the matter was discussed at last week’s CPF meeting and the urgency of the situation had been emphasised.

Slow progress in pay-outs

It seems the backlog in the Msunduzi refunds section is slowly beginning to untangle and pay-outs and accounts being credited are beginning to happen.

A businessman who waited for more than a year finally had his account credited after moving from one premises to another and not getting his refund.

However, another resident who was promised her credit by last Monday has still not received her money. You win some, you lose some, but at least there is some action in this department and let us hope that the backlog continues to be tackled with gusto.

There has been no news on the slowness in sorting out insurance claims against the municipality, but hopefully, in the name of service delivery, some municipal official in this department would begin chasing up outstanding reports and fast-tracking the claims

Bouquet for waste management

Though the waste management section has had its fair share of criticism in the past, it was very prompt in responding to a plea from residents in a block of flats who asked for an extra skip.

Richard Rajah contacted the body corporate promptly and told them there were no replacement skips in stock and they would repair the existing skips and he would keep in touch. This was good enough for residents, who were pleased at the feedback they received.

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