Democratic Alliance Member of the eThekwini Executive Committee, Councillor Andre Beetge confirmed having received correspondence that the long-awaited and much-debated verge cutting contracts will resume before month end. This comes after the DA recently discovered that faulty Supply Chain Management (SCM) systems were allegedly to blame for contractors not being paid for the 4th annual cut in December 2022. As of the third week of March 2023, contractors were still not paid.
As a result, no verge cutting was performed during the entire third quarter of the fiscal year.
Although pleased that the city might be able to avoid looking at a “life after people” scenario, Beetge remained sceptical about how the city would adjust the budget for the two cuts not made as a result of the non-payment.
The city budgets for eight cuts per fiscal year, or two cuts per quarter and cuts 5 and 6 should have been completed by the end of March.
However, this did not happen, raising the question of what the money initially intended for grass cutting would be used for.
One can only speculate whether it will be labelled as “savings” and directed towards one of the mayor’s unfunded “pet projects.”
While the Parks, Leisure and Cemeteries Special Services Division is optimistic that cuts will begin on Wednesday, March 29, there are still various concerns with some of the cooperatives contracted to do the work, and this may require people to exercise a bit more patience before heading outside without safari attire.
Complaints have been flooding in from across the city with regard to grass cutting and the DA will be conducting oversight on this tremendous backlog that has left large parts of the city looking derelict and unkempt.