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Residents call on municipality to mow overgrown grass in Merebank

Some of the municipality's lawnmowers have not been repaired since December last year.

HOMEOWNERS in the Merebank area, who have been grappling with overgrown grass, have criticised the Parks Department of eThekwini Municipality for its poor maintenance of public green spaces.

Also read: The Bluff community takes matters into their own hands

Sources revealed that the municipality’s lawnmowers have been malfunctioning since December last year due to a lack of repairs.

Some residents on Burdwan Road have stated that they are struggling to sell their houses, citing poor maintenance of verges which reduces the value of their properties.

Navin Singh, chairperson of the Navy Chinatown Ratepayers’ Association, said, “My neighbour has been trying to sell his house for over two years. Potential buyers visit, but upon seeing the poorly maintained verges, they lose interest. We’ve lost potential investors due to the poor maintenance of our roads and lawns. This is discouraging for investors.”

Residents in Merebank demand that the Parks Department cut the overgrown grass on Burdwan Road in Merebank. Photo: Andile Sithole

Residents are now demanding that the grass along Burdwan Road be maintained. “We feel neglected. With the overgrown grass in the street, we’ve been dealing with snakes coming to our houses. The excuses we receive are that the department lacks the machinery to cut the grass. However, they haven’t addressed the problem,” added Singh.

Another resident, Nischal Ramesh, echoed Singh’s sentiments. “Our area hasn’t been properly maintained for many years. We’ve lodged complaints with the relevant officials, but it seems our pleas have fallen on deaf ears,” said Ramesh.

Also read: Overgrown grass poses safety risk along M4

PR councillor for the DA Thabani Ndlovu confirmed that concerns about the malfunctioning lawnmowers and inadequate machinery were raised at the recent full council meeting held last month.

“The shortage of machinery is an ongoing problem that has halted all services. One can only conclude that this is a managerial problem because, without proper planning at management level, staff on the ground won’t be able to provide services.

Chairperson of the Navy Chinatown Ratepayers’ Association, Navin Singh. Photo: Andile Sithole

“It was brought to our attention at the council meeting that the Parks Department is understaffed, resulting in slow progress in some areas. We have suggested allocating more resources to the department because the staff can’t provide services without the necessary tools.

“I also understand that the grass-cutting machine used by the department to mow grass hasn’t been fixed since last year. This has added pressure to the workers, who have to work hard with limited resources,” said Ndlovu.

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