Municipality makes the cut

The overgrown road verge leading up to Wittebome Station in Wynberg before it was removed by the City on Wednesday 13 November.
The overgrown road verge leading up to Wittebome Station in Wynberg before it was removed by the City on Wednesday 13 November.

Have you ever passed an overgrown public open space and thought, “Geez, somebody should get that sorted”? It turns out that somebody is the City of Cape Town’s recreation and parks department.

For some, this might be old news, but for others (who suck at adulting) this might be a useful bit of information.

As ratepayers’, residents have access to various public services.

The thing is, we don’t always know what those services are.

A complaint filed with the department by Wynberg resident Jenna Stoffels on 27 September highlights how you can go about to lodge a request for the maintenance of public open spaces.

However, it seems the wheels of public maintenance turn slowly.

After numerous emails and an official complaint lodged by Stoffels, with regards to the overgrown road verge leading to Wittebome train station in Castletown Road, the department mowed the area on Wednesday 13 November.

“The grass is a breeding ground for mice and rats and vegetation had grown on to the pedestrian walk. I shudder to think what would have happened if one careless person chucked a cigarette butt into the dry grass which was last attended to sometime in last year,” said Stoffels.

She expressed her frustration at the fact that it took the department so long to attend to her complaint.

“It’s not so much the uncut grass as it is about the arrogance in the slow delivery of the delegated department. If they are so slack in performing a menial task such as a patch of uncut grass, how much more in the performance of a more serious and large task,” she asked.

People’s Post contacted the department, asking what process residents should follow to report overgrown vegetation on a public open space

According to Mayco member for community services and health councillor Zahid Badroodien there are three ways to log maintenance requests with the department. Residents can:

  • log a C3 notification on the City’s website https://eservices1.capetown.gov.za/coct/wapl/zsreq_app/index.html;
  • send an email to RP.Enquiries@capetown.gov.za;
  • call the local recreation and parks area office or depot on 021 444 1181.

The same channels can be used to report all kinds of problems, including faulty street lights, a damaged wheelie bin and illegal dumping.

Visit the website link printed above for the full list. Once the complaint is raised through a C3 notification, a reference number is issued and the matter is referred to the relevant official for response or action.

“Turnaround times for the complaint to be resolved may vary depending on the nature of the request and resources available,” says Badroodien.

The progress made in resolving a complaint can be tracked online until it is eventually closed.

Badroodien says the department management also monitors C3 notifications through reports generated by the system, analysing the age of each complaint and allowing interventions and escalations where necessary.

“The department operates on a four- to six-week mowing cycle. The recent rains followed by warm weather has resulted in a growth spurt of grassed areas. The department has been addressing these areas with additional resources.”

Badroodien said it is anticipated the next cut for this area will be scheduled for just before the end of December.

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