Muni buys chain saws and weedeaters to clear overgrown plots

Kouga Municipality has stepped up its efforts in the fight against overgrown erven.

Armed with chain saws and weed eaters the municipal senior environmental health practitioner,  Roderick Mintoor, and his colleagues Jeanney Madatt, Eric Quza and Nomfundo Blom, are set to tackle overgrown empty plots in Kouga. With them is Humansdorp Unique Forest and Garden manager, Jeremy Bouwer.

Last month the municipality acquired plot clearing equipment to the value of R70 000 from local dealers Unique Forest and Garden that will also provide training to municipal staff who will be using the machinery.

The machinery consists of five weed eaters, five chain saws and all with accompanying protective gear.

Executive Mayor Booi Koerat said there was a growth in the number of complaints received by the municipality regarding overgrown plots.

“In spite of numerous letters that we send to plot owners, warning them about the threats their overgrown plots provide to other residents and asking them to clean up, many are just happy to ignore our calls,” he said.

Previously the municipality hired private contractors to clean up neglected erven and the cost of that would be billed on owner’s rates account.  “This practice has a negative impact on our cash flow as it takes too long for us to recover the money we spent as rates are paid once off annually,” said Koerat.

The plot clearing team will consist of 20 members, who will be recruited from among existing municipal staff..

Overgrown plots come with various threats such as fire, snakes and can be a hiding place for criminals. Plot owners are asked to cooperate with the municipality environmental health section.

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