Service delivery

2018-11-29 06:01

SERVICE delivery concerns on the South Coast are seemingly a never-ending nightmare, with residents in Ward 12 as well as Ward 2 in particular raising concerns about a deterioration in the general upkeep of areas, often leading to unsightly neglect and in some instances seriously hazardous situations on the roads.

In Umtentweni, a road sign has remained unattended for over a week on the corner of Abingdon Road, and while it may seemingly be harmless, for many it is a reflection of the complete disregard for the maintenance of the area by the municipality.

Ward councillor for the area Leon Armin Garbade said the community has been fighting the service-delivery battle with Ray Nkonyeni Municipality for over a year.

“They always have to wait for the residents, councillors or the media to get fed up and start raising complaints before anything gets done. We currently have a backlog of over 120 residents’ complaints which stand unattended to,” said Garbade.

He said even the anti-dumping campaign recently launched by the municipality is a paradox as it was launched in the same area where a dumping transfer station is currently closed due to it not been cleared for so long.

Chairperson of the ratepayers association in the area Derick Morris said they have requested that the dumping station be enlarged and that more skips be ordered. However, the relevant department has been unco-operative.

He said the association submitted a petition to the municipality signed by the residents of Tweni four months ago and the municipality responded to them with an action plan, however, the relevant departments within in the municipality are non-compliant.

“We have a very good relationship with the municipal manager and he responds very well to our concerns, however, I’m afraid we face challenges with certain department heads within his administration when it comes to the implementation of these action plans agreed upon with the municipal manager.”

Issues extend to potholes, the trimming of hedges and other general upkeep concerns in the area.

In Ramsgate, the concerns are more hazardous than aesthetic, said ward councillor Dave Watson.

“In Ward 2 we also have general inconveniences and irritations like potholes, and unkempt hedges, however, my main challenge, which I have been battling for at least two years, has been with some seriously dangerous pitfalls on our national roads,” said Watson.

He said his current concerns are with two bridges, two wash-aways, as well as an incorrect road marking, which are not only alarming but directly endanger the lives of residents and motorists.

“In our area even the uncut hedges and trees pose a serious threat because the trees fall onto the roads and endanger people’s lives,” said Watson.

He said unkempt forestry is primarily on the national road, for which the Department of Transport is responsible and as a councillor he has escalated the issues to the provincial level of the department as well as to the public protector, with no response.

“We have now lodged an investigation into all these instances which I actually think should be deemed as criminal neglect and I will submit a report to the legislature to be tabled for the provincial parliament early next year,” said Watson.

Spokesperson for Ray Nkonyeni Municipality Simon April agreed with Watson that Marine Drive and other national roads are the responsibility of the Department of Transport (DoT).

“The municipality is currently engaging with the DoT with regards to the issue as it has been eating from the pockets of the municipality whereas it’s the responsibility of DoT/Sanral to maintain trees around Marine Drive,” said April.

He said the municipality works closely and cordially with the residents’ ratepayers association, together with the residents in general, and service delivery issues are attended to accordingly.

April added that the municipality has continuous programmes of potholes repairs, done by both internal teams and external contractors.

“While these programmes are being implemented one can indicate that the recent complaints that the municipality has received are mainly with the roads, which are the responsibility of the Department of Transport and those complaints are referred to them.

“The municipality is also engaging with the department on the way forward in terms of addressing the issue of vegetation along the DoT roads,” said April.

“Having said the above, I wish to state that the municipality has a customer complaints management system where residents can register their service-delivery related queries or complaints and the system has proven to be effective. Residents can either send an e-mail to services@rnm.gov.za or send an SMS to 32061 (R1 per SMS) or phone 039 688 2027.”

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