OVERGROWN stands filled with alien invasive species, which pose a fire hazard and which provide refuge for burglars have not been attended to by Ndlambe Municipality, a year after the first official complaint was made.
Croydon Circle resident Charles Pellew said a fire had broken out on the overgrown stands on March 13, and was put under control by Multi Security, the Pellews’ gardener and the fire department.
“I reported an attempted burglary to [Ward 10 councillor Raymond] Schenk to my home and was advised by a security company that the overgrown condition of stands is used as refuge spots for potential burglars. For our safety I spent another R7 800 upgrading our security.
Pellew said he made his first official request for the stands to be cleared to Ndlambe’s directorate of community protection services in April last year. One of the stands is public open space, and the others are owned by a private developer.
Pellew said community protection services deputy director Fanie Fouche was aware of his request.
“I was told that the public open space will be done immediately and the privately owned stands could take up to 45 days,” he said, explaining that the municipality had to follow a process to inform landowners to attend to their properties before the municipality could act.
The 45 days came and went and nothing transpired.
Pellew said an attempt was made at clearing the municipal land, on a two metre wide section, but work stopped there and the cuttings were simply left on site.
“It’s an eyesore to the neighbourhood,” he said.
What frustrates Pellew even more is that he has received no response from the municipality to follow-up requests.
“I tried to make contact with Mr Fouche [on Monday]. He was out of office and I gave the receptionist my phone number asking Mr Fouche to contact me urgently. Once again there has been no response,” Pellew said.
Pellew said as of Wednesday he had still received no response. TotT also sent queries to municipal spokesman Cecil Mbolekwa, and copied in Fouche, municipal manager Rolly Dumezweni and mayor Phindile Faxi. No response had been received at the time of going to print.
“The ambience and value of our properties is being depreciated, the safety of residents in Croydon Circle is being compromised, and sadly the responsibility of the municipality to meet its obligations has not gone unnoticed by all residents who reside in Croydon Circle and its environs,” Pellew said.
He added that he also had received no help from a ward committee member representing the West Bank.