IT WAS good to see municipal workers finally clearing the big stormwater drain in Van Riebeeck and Lambert roads today, but why did it necessitate a call from a concerned resident for this to happen?
Ndlambe Municipality should have a routine maintenance programme in place that does this as a matter of course.
This is made especially more relevant due to the fact that blockages in this drain resulted in flooding in Lambert Road during heavy rainfall in the past few years, particularly affecting a house in a dip that is lower than the road.
When a dam overflowed on farmland adjacent to Lambert Road, floodwater simply flowed directly over the blocked drain and across the street, entering and damaging properties. It created a domino effect in streets behind the affected houses, as rivers of water met each other and damaged more properties.
It was not the only stormwater drain that had become overgrown with weeds and bush.
I remember the surreal sight of municipal workers trying to unclog a blocked drain in the midst of flooding, up to their knees in the swirling water. It was too late – the damage had been done.
Having experienced this, one would think it gives extra motivation to the municipality for a routine maintenance programme.
But no, the Lambert Road drain has not been cleared in years, and by the time workers got there today the entire length of the wide drain was filled with grass, weeds and even young saplings having taken root.
This is not the only example of someone having to alert the municipality before something is done.
Residents are pleased the municipality is finally clearing it, because we never know when the next flood will happen, but municipal workers could have saved themselves the additional labour by checking and clearing the drain at regular intervals throughout the year.
Instead we are treated to the sight of a dozen workers looking like they are undertaking the biggest challenge in the world, half leaning on their shovels while the other half work.
This is not the only example of someone having to alert the municipality before something is done. Sometimes it takes a concerned resident to report a water leak on municipal property, when it would seem obvious municipal workers should have noticed the problem themselves.
The same can be said of the thick algae that occasionally accumulates on the balancing dam. All hell breaks loose when it is finally noticed and the municipality has to shut the water off and call in emergency divers to unclog the filters.
This should not be happening. Municipal bosses should be instructing the relevant departments to conduct routine inspections.
– Jon Houzet