Local firms encouraged to register with city

Councillor Chris Pappas shows the overgrown weeds in Currie Road.

THE unreliability of small contractors who carry out work for the municipality has prompted councillor Chris Pappas to encourage local businesses to register with the municipality. This comes after the recent cancellation of a contract to maintain Durban’s roads and verges.

Councillors Pappas and Mmabatho Tembe said they had received numerous complaints from residents regarding overgrown verges, weeds and trees which needed pruning, and explained the problem lay with the municipality.

“The City hires co-ops to do weed spraying, grass cutting, tree felling and road cleaning but I feel this system to create employment for co-ops is not working as these companies are too small and don’t have the experience, manpower or number of vehicles needed to take on the amount of work in these areas,” said Pappas.

He said companies fall behind on targets, receive warnings and end up with cancelled contracts.

ALSO READ: Service delivery lacking in lower Glenwood, says residents

Pappas said the contract for work in District 7, which includes areas from the Umgeni River to Wentworth, such as Berea, Glenwood and the Bluff, had been cancelled as the company had defaulted on too many occasions.

Tembe said she felt the municipality shouldn’t have allowed the situation to go on so long. “The municipality should’ve had a contingency plan in place, however I’m glad Parks has cancelled the contract. I do hope work will be started on verges and weed spraying before the December rush. During my service delivery drives I have noted areas of concern and have sent out a list of complaints for action,” she said.

Councillor Chris Pappas shows the overgrown land in Currie Road.

Pappas encouraged local businesses to register to do the work.

“There needs to be local contracts for local people registered in the system, so when it comes to choosing who does the work, the Parks Department is obligated to take on people living in the wards. This also helps with accountability, as local people live in the area and take pride in the area. It will be nice to keep the ratepayers’ money in the area and uplift the community,” he said.

Pappas encouraged small businesses to partner with other businesses. He said contractors were also needed for work such as installing speed bumps, road repairs and repairing sidewalks.

 

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  AUTHOR
Lauren Walford
Journalist

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