Long grass on Dusi banks a danger

2018-01-22 13:45
Residents are fed up with the state of the long grass growing along the Duzi River. Anton Msango, a gardener at a property on Stalkers Alley, is pictured.

Residents are fed up with the state of the long grass growing along the Duzi River. Anton Msango, a gardener at a property on Stalkers Alley, is pictured. (Kerushen Pillay)

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With the famous Dusi Canoe Marathon set to start next month, residents living alongside the river say they have tried in vain for a year to get Msunduzi Municipality to attend to the unkempt grass on the banks of the river.

Residents have sent numerous e-mails to City officials since February last year, pleading with them to get the dense overgrowth cut.

In the e-mails, residents say that the piece of land that flanks the Duzi is used by people as a short-cut to get to and from the river, and nearby sports grounds.

“This is really a danger, as there are many domestic workers who use it as a short-cut to come to work, and they often get mugged,” one e-mail read.

Residents also fear that in drier conditions, the dense bush is a fire hazard.

They said they have themselves had to clear grass growing too close to properties, because of this.

In an e-mail sent to residents in March last year, a municipal official said: “Just got off the phone with one of the residents who live near the Duzi River, and I will be in contact with the relevant supervisor to attend to the matter.”

But this never happened, residents said, and the problem persists.

“This is extremely frustrating. Apart from this just being untidy, it’s a serious fire risk, and so many properties, including an old age home and school, could be at risk,” a resident said.

“I’m at my wits’ end. The City seems to take no pride in what they do,” another resident added.

Anton Msango, a gardener who works at a complex on Stalkers Alley, said pedestrians get soaked in the the tall grass. “I use this area as a short-cut from Sweetwaters Road.

“By the time I reach the other side, I’m covered in water and grass.

“Sometimes I come out of the bush and people think I’m a suspect.

“Children cross this area to play soccer at the grounds on the other side.

“It’s so dangerous because people can easily hide in the tall grass.”

A resident said: “We used to walk this path to see the opening of the Dusi Marathon every year.

“Now we can’t because we’re scared. It’s such a shame.”

Msunduzi’s acting spokesperson, Siyabonga Hlongwa, did not respond to a query last week.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  dusi canoe marathon

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