Moaning about mowing

Goodwood and Parow residents have been moaning about mowing, or rather a lack of it by the City of Cape Town.

They’ve accused the City of neglecting parks and verges allowing them to become overgrown.

In its defence, the City says “legal processes” beyond its control delayed the appointment of a contractor to mow parks, open spaces, cemeteries and road verges, in a total area equivalent in size to more than 6 400 rugby fields, but it was now dealing with the backlog and has commenced with the first cut of spring.

Goodwood Ratepayers’ Association’s chairman, Brian Lawson, said he had raised the issue with ward councillor Cecile Janse van Rensburg, although he had noticed that some overgrown areas had since been mowed and he would continue to “monitor the situation”.

Riana de Wet, secretary of the Monte Vista Ratepayers’ Association, said the association had noted residents’ unhappiness with the long grass.

“The matter has been raised with the powers that be, and we got assurance that it has been escalated to the highest authorities within council.”

“The ward councillor complained to the authorities about this before the community even raised the issue.”

She said the contractor was supposed to mow at least nine times a year. That had not been happening, but it appeared they were getting going again.

“We have received confirmation that they are currently cutting along the highways and the parks should be done shortly after.”

Siyabulela Mamkeli, mayoral committee member for area central, said the scope of the tender was for the mowing of grass and the removal of grass cuttings.

The first cut in the Goodwood area should be done by the end of the month, he said.

“City staff have mowed the main roads and worked overtime to get the Goodwood area under control.”

JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security and social services, said the springtime growth surge in grass, weeds and wild flowers had coincided with “delays in appointing mowing contractors for the City-wide mowing tender”, all the successful tenderers had since received their purchase orders and were now “resolving the backlog” and internal staff were helping to pick up the slack in the worst affected areas.

He said the recreation and parks department also faced an annual dilemma: mow the verges or let the spring flowers have their moment in the sun.

“Areas where annual spring flowers and bulbs are in full bloom are left undisturbed so that residents can enjoy the display for as long as possible,” he said.