Residents fume over ‘shoddy mess’

Building rubble is dumped in Langverwacht, Kuils River.

The City turned the green verges of a Kuils River road into a sandpit, then ignored complaints about it for the past nine months, say residents.

The fuming homeowners in Langverwacht Road say they have battled since the beginning of the year to get the City to fix the “shoddy mess” they say its staff left behind after replacing a pipe.

Brent Ziervogel said he had been writing to the City and to his ward councillor since January, saying he wanted his green-grass verge back, but his only response had been a “sloppy reference number or an automated response”.

Loose sand blew into his front yard, and his car had been stuck several times in the sand and had had to be towed out, he said.

“The rain for this season is not over yet, and it’s like a mud bath outside our homes. How much longer must we wait for this mess to be cleared?”

Pierre Conradie said wind blew sand into his home and against his windows from the “semi-desert” outside, and he had to eat into his pension to hire a cleaner almost every week.

“I built this house myself just over 39 years ago, and I looked after my place, including this space that belongs to the council, but it now looks like all my hard work has gone to waste.

“The City orders cheap contractors to work and leave our communities in a mess. But they say they work for us,” said Mr Conradie.

Martie Geldenhuys said the grass inside and outside her yard had looked good because she had been using water from her borehole to water it. But that had been before the pipe was replaced.

“It would be nice if the City had created a tarred path or replanted buffalo grass, but this is an eyesore and will decrease the values of our properties if it is left like this.”

Northern News has scores of e-mails that six affected residents have sent to the City and Ward 11 councillor Desiree Visagie since the start of the year. The last one is dated Wednesday, October 9. None of the e-mails appears to have elicited a response from either the City or the councillor apart from the reference number referred to by Mr Ziervogel. Ms Visagie said the issue had been reported to her office several times in the last few months and she had tried her best to get through to officials.

“I have been on leave but will immediately address with our sub-council chair to follow up on this matter,” she said.

Northern News e-mailed questions to the City’s media office on Wednesday October 9 and it confirmed receipt the following day, but we did not get a response by the time this edition went to print.