Con man leaves a loose mess

2015-08-11 06:00
Substandard tar laid by a scamster may see residents held liable for the damage.

Substandard tar laid by a scamster may see residents held liable for the damage.

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You may think having a new tar surface laid on the pavement in front of your home would be an improvement, but work done by a con artist is proving to be anything but.

Residents have been warned of a man, who poses as a City of Cape Town contractor, who offers to lay leftover asphalt on the municipal property in front of their homes for a small fee.

He reportedly carries out work, but uses substandard material which soon starts washing off.

And residents are being warned that they may be liable for hiring the scamster.

Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport, says he has heard about the unapproved work taking place.

“Transport for Cape Town has been advised that the man goes by the name of Sergio and approaches residents with the story that he has leftover tar and needs to use it up. He offers to surface the footways in front of their homes for cash or goods. When they agree, he brings a team in wearing safety vests and does the work. He has become threatening if residents refuse to pay,” Herron says.

The material applied by the con artist is a mixture of old asphalt, slurry and charcoal. It is completely loose and soon starts washing off the footway into the stormwater system, Herron says.

Ward councillor Jacques Weber says six months ago, a resident contacted him saying she had paid for work to be done, which had lasted only two weeks. The City then fixed the pavement where the damaged had been caused.

Four property owners have already fallen prey to the scam, leaving the City to repair the damaged surfaces. Herron says residents will now be held accountable should they hire this man.

“Residents should not employ this company as they may be held liable for damage to City property. Any work on pavements and roads requires a permit for resurfacing,” he says.

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