The blockage of storm water drains in the residential, industrial and CBD areas of town due to the apparent lack of maintenance was addressed on Friday when role players from the Greater Tzaneen Municipality (GTM) visited some of the areas.
Driving through the streets of Tzaneen or going for an early morning jog or walk, one can not help to notice how some of the storm water drains (also known as catch pits) are partially or almost completely blocked with sand, leaves and waste. After receiving complaints from the public, LETABA HERALD contacted Neville Ndlala the spokesperson of the GTM, who then set up a meeting with representatives from the Engineering Department.
Adriaan Jacobs, Senior Superintendent Roads and Storm Water and Olga Tshisevhe, Manager Roads and Storm Water from the department, after inspecting drains pointed out to them by the HERALD explained that although a maintenance program is in place, budget constraints and the resulting staff shortages put a huge handicap on the said program.
“The Roads and Storm Water section of the Engineering Department consists of two camps, the one serving the Tzaneen, Haenertsburg, Modjadi and Bolobedu South areas while camp two is responsible for the Letsitele, Nkowakowa and Lenyenye areas,” Jacobs told the HERALD. “These camps are responsible for the storm water systems, fixing of tar and gravel roads, pavements, fire breaks and the runway at the local airport,” Jacobs continued. “Each camp has a staff complement of five permanent and ten temporary workers on a 12-month contract.”
With about 3 000 km of roads in the mentioned areas, it does not take the most intelligent person on earth to figure out that the GTM is fighting a losing battle when it comes to maintenance programs.
So where does it leave the residents of Tzaneen who after all are tax paying citizens and deserve open drains and roads without potholes?
“We asked the people of Tzaneen to work with the GTM and to contact us when they identify one of these problems in their area so that we know about it and we can send our team out to investigate,” Olga said. Their offices can be contacted on 015 307 8224, Monday to Friday from 07:30 to 16:00.