City’s appalling services

2018-10-12 15:53
A pothole on the corner of Burger and Chief Albert Luthuli streets.

A pothole on the corner of Burger and Chief Albert Luthuli streets. (Ian Carbutt)

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Residents are queuing up to complain to Msunduzi about a range of unfulfilled services, but they can’t get through.

This week residents have criticised the city call centre for being inefficient, saying they have been unable to log problems regarding broken street lights, potholes, and even electricity and water outages.

A member of Msunduzi’s finance portfolio committee, ward councillor Ross Strachan, has gone so far as to complain in an e-mail to several officials that the call centre efficiency needed to be “drastically” improved.

“We need to drastically intervene in our customer relations, there needs to be a strong relationship between the technical departments and the call centre, and the flow of information needs to be consistent,” Strachan said.

Strachan also complained that there were “regular and prolonged” water outages due to ageing infrastructure, and theft or vandalism of parts.

“Why have no cases been opened with our local SAPS regarding theft or vandalism?” said Strachan in his letter. “Why are we not investigating the regular outages that only get attended to after hours? Where is the quality control by our [general managers]?”

He said there were also serious problems with electricity outages, especially on roads that border Hilton.

“These outages are sometimes prolonged for up to three days ... with no response from the dysfunctional call centre … and very little support for supervisors on the ground.”

An open manhole outside the Bessie Head Library on Church Street.

A Scottsville woman told The Witness that she had tried every number available to the public to log a complaint to Msunduzi, but had received no joy. “I was trying to follow a reference number I have for streetlights that don’t work. I complained three weeks ago and I was told it would be sorted out in two weeks, but it’s still a problem.”

Meanwhile, residents have also bemoaned a lack of refuse removal and broken traffic lights, including the ones on Chota Motala (Old Greytown) Road, which continue to suffer from a virus that makes the timing of traffic light changes irregular.

Alecia Steenkamp said: “Normally [my garbage] will be picked up on a Monday. It was still not picked up this [week].”

Greg Adley added: “There is literally litter everywhere. I went to KwaMpumuza the other day I have never seen anything like it. People tell me that [Msunduzi] never pick up refuse there.”

A pothole in Chase Valley road. 

Niran Mansingh said the list of service delivery problems was “endless”, adding: “Refuse removal, lack of street cleaning, and traffic lights constantly not working.”

Martin Godfrey said his problems included refuse not being collected, street lights being out of order, potholes, and storm water drains being blocked.

Msunduzi did not respond by the time of going to press to the query sent to them.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  service delivery

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