OVERGROWN areas within eThekwini will be getting the chop soon as grass cutting and weed spraying operations undertaken by the municipality got underway again on 8 January after the December cutting cycle was interrupted by inclement weather and public holidays.
In a media statement this week, eThekwini Municipality announced that areas with overgrown grass would be prioritised.
This comes after a notice was sent to the Parks Department by a number of ward councillors who were concerned with the level and quality of service being rendered by the Department over the past two months.
ALSO READ: Local firms encouraged to register with city
Particular issues which resulted in a large number of complaints from residents included weeds not being sprayed, poorly maintained verges, dirty parks where litter has been uncollected, the general upkeep of parks including the routine cutting of grass and the level of services provided by the Special Services Department including the cutting of servitudes and vacant plots.
“While we understand the frustrations and complications with the cooperatives that the Department is contracting, we are also concerned that the Parks Department is not delivering a basic standard of service to the public. This is not the first time we have seen this periodic decline in the quality of services. This was also the case around August 2016 and it took several months to normalise the situation,” said Chris Pappas, ward 31 councillor.
Pappas said ward councillors had requested that the Parks Department provide the District 7 office with the necessary support and resources to bring the parks, verges and open spaces back up to a satisfactory level and to maintain this standard going forward.
Responding to the councillors, Garth Kloppenborg from the Parks Department said there was the perception of poor service delivery in the wards, however, he said it should be noted that the weather conditions had been abnormal with the high levels of rainfall, accompanied by warm conditions which supported accelerated grass growth.
Kloppenborg said there was an expectation that residents undertake their own verge maintenance as part of their city pride and that the verge was an extension of their home, dwelling and town house complex.
“The rates they pay do not compensate for the verge to be cut. Verge cutting is directed to cutting the unmaintained road verges only,” he said.
He said weed spraying contracts were terminated due to poor performance, and the department had instructed each of the affected districts to put in place a plan that would ensure that the weeds in the areas be addressed.
Regarding litter, Kloppenborg said open spaces were visited a minimum of once a week to clear bins and remove any debris that had accumulated during the week.
“Household litter that is dumped in parks is difficult to manage and should not be happening. I do believe that the residents need to be responsible for their actions when dumping household refuse bags,” he said.
For enquiries on the grass cutting schedule, contact the eThekwini Municipality on 031 322 4000.
Do you want to receive news alerts via WhatsApp? Send us a WhatsApp message (not an sms) with your name and surname to 060 532 5535.
PLEASE NOTE: If you have signed up for our news alerts you need to save the Berea Mail WhatsApp number as a contact to your phone, otherwise you will not receive our alerts