Metro and advocacy groups at logger-heads over Framesby Gardens fire hazard

DECEMBER 18, 2014

A confrontation is looming between the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality and local advocacy groups – the NMB Ratepayers Association and AfriForum Port Elizabeth, over an unserviced plot of land in Framesby Gardens.

“The consumers of Framesby (Brymore) [are faced with an unacceptable situation in that there is a plot in the area which was declared as a fire hazard in 2012 by the Fire Department and in addition neighbours adjacent to the plot have informed us that it is not unusual to find a dangerous snake in their back yard,” said Kobus Gerber of the NMBRA in an email directed to the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality.

“The consumers in the vicinity have been requesting the NMBM for over 6 years to clear and maintain the plot due to rats and snakes and the threat of a fire hazard. The frustration of the consumers in Framesby has now reached boiling point and they have therefore requested the NMB Ratepayers Association to intervene.”

NMBRA and AfriForum PE discover why the municipality was not clearing the plot

He said as a result of all the correspondence - sent over a period of over two years relating to the plot (Erf 951 Framesby), the NMBRA and AfriForum PE had no alternative but to investigate why the Metro had been continuously failing to clear the plot.

“We were informed by Metro officials that the available tractor is in for repairs and that it keeps on breaking down. I contacted December Goduka who was generous enough to take me to the broken tractor on Thursday, 4 December 2014 at the Automotive Division in Deal Party. The tractor was stripped and in the process of been repaired,” said Gerber.

“At Automotive we were further informed by the mechanic, Gavin, that the tractor will be completed the following day and that December will be able to fetch the tractor. I again went out to Automotive on the 5 December but was denied access to the tractor.

“Due to the plot still not being cleared I visited Automotive Division on Wednesday, 10 December 2014 to view the tractor and although some progress had been made the job was not yet complete. I then contacted Gavin telephonically at Automotive on Thursday, 11th December at about 08:15 and he informed me that he will do his best to have the tractor completed by Friday, 12 December.”

Gerber said a Clyde Scott informed him telephonically that he will be moving in with his team of staff to clear the plot.

“On Monday,15 December when I arrived at the plot there were no officials or tractor in sight and no clearing had taken place,” he said.

“I again went to Automotive Division immediately from viewing the plot and it was evident that the tractor was still standing as it was previously and Gavin had failed to complete the job as promised. He was apparently on leave since Friday, 12 December.

“Whilst attempting to speak to a supervisor or workshop foreman a gentleman called Agherdien approached  me and asked me to leave the premises. He told me that as the Ratepayers we had no business at Automotive Division.”

NMBRA and AfriForum PE will clear the plot and send the Metro the bill

In the email, Gerber says he believes the Metro is “indeed not willing to listen and execute the basic service we as consumers pay for”.

“…therefore we have asked three companies to quote to clear the plot.

“This will be forwarded to the Metro and we will utilise the best to execute the work the Metro obviously cannot do since they do not have a functional tractor to use. I have offered Mr Scott a truck to remove and dump all rubble cleared because Mr Scott also informed me that they have no truck to remove the cleared rubble,” he said.

“We will serve the Metro with a notice that we will clear the said plot and send them the bill for full and final settlement.”