Overgrown grass and shrubs, heavy branches needing a desperate prune and more litter than usual are just some of the difficulties facing City Parks as Johannesburg wades through an incredibly wet season.
THE summer rains in Johannesburg have caused havoc in more ways than one, but City Parks is not letting that stop them tackle the extra work caused by the inclement weather.
A grass mower cuts grass in one of the City's parksA grass mower cuts grass in one of the City's parks“City Parks is appealing to residents to be patient as we systematically work towards resolving the seasonal maintenance backlogs,” said spokesperson for City Parks Jenny Moodley.
“The summer rains impact quite significantly on the greening entity’s ability to deliver services at an optimum level,” she said.
The high volume of rain accelerates the growth of grass, shrubs and trees; affects work schedules as employees are not allowed to operate machinery in wet conditions; and hinders contractors who do not commission work in intermittent rain as it is not cost-effective.
The rain also places extra pressure on machinery; increases the time it takes to maintain open spaces; and leads to more tree-pruning requests from residents.
More rain means greener, lusher parks – and this boosts the number of people who frequent them. An influx of visitors places strain on infrastructure and leads to bylaw transgressions such as littering and illegal parking.
Limited resources and an increasing portfolio of public open spaces also exacerbate the challenges presented by the rainy season, said Moodley.
“[We] are appealing to residents to assist by maintaining sidewalks adjacent to their homes. This will go a long way in alleviating some of the pressures of timeous delivery, and will allow [us] to focus on parks, cemeteries and street trees that require more specialised maintenance services.”
Moodley would like residents to be mindful of the fact that not all open spaces are under the guardianship of City Parks. Many are either privately owned or owned by organisations such as Eskom, Telkom, the National Roads Agency, Johannesburg Property Company or the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport – to name a few.
To speed up the resolving of complaints for sites which do not fall under City Parks’ jurisdiction, the company has set up a new business development department to work with the organisations that do own them.
In order to verify ownership of uncared-for spaces, concerned residents can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with the precise location of the area, or visit the website at www.jhbcityparks.com.
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