Municipality starts mowing after appeal from K9 unit

2013-02-04 00:00

LONG grass in Napierville has become a hideout for criminals, prompting the police from the K9 unit to write to ward councillor Glenn McArthur asking him to get the municipality to attend to the overgrowth all over Napierville.

The police were especially concerned about the long grass in Eugene Marais, Aalwyn, Roy Campbell and Arum roads.

According to police there was an increase in housebreakings and robberies in the area.

The situation was exacerbated by street lights not working in much of the suburb.

McArthur voiced his frustration at the lack of response from the Parks Department, saying he had made numerous requests for the problem to be sorted out.

He forwarded to The Witness complaints that he got from residents.

Zakhele Mhlongo from Napierville wrote that he walked because of health reasons. “Of late, the grass has grown drastically and there is no proper walkway for pedestrians. This forces the pedestrians to walk on the edge of the road, which is very dangerous in light of oncoming traffic,” he said.

He said the pavement on Eugene Marais Road was hidden by grass and trees that had grown there. He suggested that as a permanent solution the municipality must build pavements with concrete slabs or tar, but as a temporary solution the grass cutter should attend to the verges at least twice a month.

When school re-opened another resident expressed concern that a child forced to walk on the road could be run over by vehicles.

Msunduzi spokesperson Brian Zuma assured The Witness that the Parks Department had started cutting the grass in the Napierville and Prestbury areas.

He said they were busy with Devonshire, Roy Campbell, Eugene Marais and Mayors Walk roads.

He said the city’s grass-cutting and verge maintenance programmes had suffered because of staff shortages.

Zuma said the municipality was also looking at various options to sort out verge maintenance in the city, including using the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP).

At the end of last year the municipality had bought 30 new grass cutters.

The council’s newsletter reported acting manager for parks Sergie Naidu saying that his department was in the final stages of identifying new contractors who would be dealing with grass cutting.

Naidoo said that currently the municipality had 350 general workers who were part of the grass-cutting programme.

At a recent Exco meeting municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi said that the EPWP could be used to reduce a lot of the service delivery backlogs.

He said managers needed to supervise the workers. “What I can see is that we have 350 people without a lot of supervision,” he said.

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