Livestock seen roaming around residential suburbs in Pietermaritzburg have raised questions about why the municipality is not doing anything to enforce municipal bylaws. The livestock, which includes cattle and horses, has been spotted in different residential areas and suburbs, including Pelham, Woodhouse Road, Ridgepark, Grange and various township streets.
The animals have been seen during the day and night roaming about with no herder visible. Residents have since raised concerns about where they come from and the dangers they pose to traffic on the road. A Pelham resident told Weekend Witness that she has seen cows regularly in the suburb, on different streets.
“Normally there are about three or four of them walking together. Sometimes they even stand in the middle of the road and refuse to move. They even visited us at home and just waited outside the gate,” she said.
Another resident, who lives in Scottsville and did not want to be named, said she had a bad experience with the cows at night while driving back home. “This is very dangerous because these cows [might] even cause an accident. A person might die or suffer serious injuries if they crash into a cow, so it does not only endanger the livestock but it puts us in danger too.
“Something needs to be done about this because suburban and urban areas are not meant for livestock, they belong in their natural habitat or on a farm,” she said.
Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Ntobeko Mkhize said the municipality is concerned about cattle roaming in open spaces without control measures being put in place as this creates health and safety risks for residents. She said the municipality is in the process of establishing a unit in the public safety department that would address the growing issue of cattle roaming in suburbs.
The municipality has public health bylaws and public open spaces bylaws. The bylaws prohibit animals from being on any street or public place except when the animal is being transported in a vehicle with [a permit].
“The public safety unit is currently engaging with the relevant stakeholders in order to set up a committee that will work together to address this growing issue of concern,” she said.