Mowers working overtime in Msunduzi

2020-01-27 15:00
A Msunduzi Municipality employee was hard at work cutting grass along Hyslop Road yesterday morning. PHOTO: nompilo Kunene

A Msunduzi Municipality employee was hard at work cutting grass along Hyslop Road yesterday morning. PHOTO: nompilo Kunene

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Msunduzi employees were working overtime on Sunday to mow the grass verges along Hyslop, Town Bush and Old Howick roads. 

Last week, The Witness reported complaints by residents of overgrown verges and uncut grass all over the city.

The Msunduzi employees confirmed on Sunday that they were working overtime.

They also said that the public needs to understand that there aren’t enough brushcutters to mow the entire city at once, because machines were either broken or had been stolen.

In November last year, The Witness reported that 33 brand-new brushcutters belonging to Msunduzi, valued at more than R363 000, had been stolen and that the council wanted the security company Royal Security held accountable for the theft. The council had also called for a thorough investigation into the theft of the city’s brushcutters, as it had become a regular occurrence.

Meanwhile, last week The Witness also reported that the council was considering freezing overtime in some departments to curb abuse, as some staffers’ overtime claims were more than their monthly salaries.

This came after the City’s overall overtime bill came to more than R7,3 million last month.

Ntobeko Ngcobo, acting spokesperson for Msunduzi Municipality, told The Witness yesterday the city had been facing some challenges in relation to grass cutting. She said these include poor resources, shortage of staff, fleet breakdowns and the theft of equipment, especially brushcutters.

She said the grass has been growing faster due to the high rainfall and the warm weather since December.

Another contributing factor was limited human resources as some staff members were on leave during the festive season, which had an impact on the grass cutting programme and caused it to fall behind schedule.

Ngcobo said the municipality has developed a grass cutting operational plan, which started about two week ago.

“Obviously, there is a backlog and an outcry from the community of Msunduzi,” she said.

“The parks department is working under pressure to try and catch up on the backlog, with the limited resources as mentioned, that must also service the entire municipality.”

She said the municipality is in the process of procuring 50 new brushcutters and repairing broken trucks.

“The municipality is also committed to ensuring that the grass cutting programme is implemented successfully.

“Progress has been seen in public open spaces and along the main road in and around the city.

“The municipality is appealing for patience as the parks department is working as hard and as swiftly as possible with the limited resources to ensure a good image of the city,” said Ngcobo.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  msunduzi municipality

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