News / South Africa / Local News

Masego Seemela
2 minute read
19 Feb 2019
9:41 am

Storms cause massive tree fall backlog in Joburg suburbs

Masego Seemela

The volume of trees that still need to be removed is bigger than City Parks' operational teams can manage.

Ward 74 councillor David Fisher stands next to a fallen down tree on Dennington Avenue, Winston Ridge. Photo: Deborah Fisher

In the aftermath of the many storms to hit Johannesburg’s north-eastern suburbs in January, it was found that many trees across the city were uprooted and blown over.

According to Ward 74 councillor David Fisher, many trees have been reported to have fallen over in residential suburbs, blocking roads and affecting power and phone lines. Luckily, no injuries have been reported, reports North Eastern Tribune.

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Fisher said he continued to monitor the removal of branches which was a non-emergency activity.

“On 24 January, I discussed the backlog with Jerome Ogle, the regional manager at City Parks and Zoo, who informed me that they were working on the issue, but that the volume of more than 80 trees was bigger than his operational teams could manage in the normal course of their working week.

“He had authorised overtime to be worked over the three weekends in a proactive response to this abnormal workload.”

Fisher said during a recent follow-up, he was informed that there were still many sites that needed clearing, but was assured that the City Parks team was busy with the removal.

Johannesburg City Park and Zoo’s spokesperson Jenny Moodley said they continued to receive reports of uprooted trees and fallen branches stemming from the seasonal rains and storms.

“The entity has appointed external contractors as part of its emergency plans to remove trees and branches that are obstructing traffic,” said Moodley.

“The branches are relocated to the sidewalk and there is a 21-day turnaround commitment to ensure that these branches are chipped and removed. Generally, the branches are removed much sooner, however, due to seasonal backlogs, the entity has put in place weekend teams to also assist with the removal of branches on the sidewalks.”

Moodley thanked residents for their patience on behalf of City Parks, and appealed to residents whose requests are yet to be attended to, to please forward an email to trees@jhbcityparks.com

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