Msunduzi Municipality’s new programme to clean the drains around the CBD and remove blockages has been welcomed by city businesses.
Many businesses in the city have been affected by the frequent flooding caused by the clogged drains.
According to Msunduzi spokesperson Ntobeko Mkhize, the effort to clean the drains was part of an ongoing maintenance programme for road infrastructure throughout the city.
The programme involves unclogging of drains, unblocking curb inlets, shovelling of weeds, reinstatement of collapsed sidewalks, pavements and replacement of manhole covers.
Ward 27 councillor Dante Kemp, whose jurisdiction covers the CBD, said that it was a welcome sight to see the drains being cleaned, calling it a step in the right direction.
“Proper implementation and oversight of our city’s infrastructure is a step in the right direction,” he said.
With the upcoming rainy season, and the onset of flooding in heavily trafficked areas, it is important that our ageing infrastructure is maintained accordingly and tools of trade [are provided] for our departments. Regular maintenance of our drainage and sewerage infrastructure ensures our city is clean, which benefits businesses and residents alike, which enriches long term plans for economic growth.
Kemp added that regular clean-ups will help ensure that the city remains clean.
“With constant awareness campaigns to all businesses this will curb the current state of waste being disposed of on our streets and the perception created that the municipality isn’t doing enough. I believe all stakeholders are responsible for their areas of business.
All ventures that involve the gentrification of our city’s historical value are paramount in preserving our City of Choice. This is a positive move to assure residents that we, as a municipality, and departments value the work being done and the need for such work to ensure our stakeholders invest in our city.
Jay Govender, who owns a business in the CBD, said this is a battle he has been fighting for years.
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“We have been fighting with [the municipality] for over a year to clean the drains.”
He said the pipes had become blocked due to dumping.
“When it rains, the water completely blocks my driveway and parking lot. It takes a day to clear and if someone does come and clean it out, they only remove the water and leave thick sludge behind. Especially during the rainy seasons, it will flood our driveway and parking lot, and it is like driving through a river to get to the shop,” he added.
Kantha Naidoo, from the Msunduzi Economic Development Agency (Meda), welcomed the maintenance programme.
“This is something we are really needing in the city and we welcome this with open arms,” she said.
Mkhize added that illegal dumping is a major problem for the municipality.
Littering and illegal dumping is a serious setback that also impacts on the safety of the community. With each clean-up done, our teams remove objects such as plastic, nappies, bottles, rubble, some vehicle parts, silts which cause blockages.
“The [continual] theft of manhole covers is another concern which poses a serious danger to motorists and pedestrians. Every year the municipality spends millions to replace stolen manhole covers. We are now in a process to procure polymer manholes,” said Mkhize.
She added that the municipality is appealing to the community to refrain from littering and illegally dumping waste.
We urge the community to work with us to safeguard the infrastructure by reporting acts of theft, vandalism and illegal dumping so that the perpetrators can be dealt with.