City’s unkempt walkway slammed

SOYISO MALITI

A retired City Parks employee and the Rustdal Neighbourhood Watch have slammed the “shoddy” workmanship and lack of maintenance on a walkway in Blackheath, which is part of a R35 million City of Cape Town project to build pathways and cycle lanes in the northern suburbs.

Civil Arendse, Rustdal Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator, said the walkway was a “safety hazard” and criminals could use the bushes growing over it to their advantage.

Robert Simpson, a 67-year old pensioner whose house is situated along the walkway near Voortrekker Road, in Rustdal, said the City had neglected the walkways it had “boasted about”.

“I try to maintain it as much as possible, but this is the City’s responsibility,” Mr Simpson said.

Constructed late last year and completed recently, the Rustdal walkway – part of the City’s multi-million project in areas including Kuils River, Kraaifontein and Eerste River – has become an inconvenience with almost shoulder-high bushes running alongside them in places obstructing motorists.

The walkway’s sandy foundations also appear to be drifting towards Mr Simpson’s home and an open field.

“My problem is the City is talking about these walkways, but they’ve neglected them,” said Mr Simpson. He believes red tape is to blame for delaying the cutting back of bushes and the removal of weeds. For instance, he said, City Parks had been cutting the grass on the open field in front of his home, but when he asked the workers to tackle the weeds, he was advised to approach the City’s roads department.

Mr Simpson has barred his teenage stepdaughters from taking their morning jogs along the path as he fears criminals could leap out at them from the bushes.

Northern News emailed questions to the City on Friday morning, but by the time this edition went to print, the City’s media office said it was still trying to source comment from the relevant official.