Cattle hazard must be dealt with promptly
The dangers posed by stray cattle on the city’s roads were brought home with force with the report of a motorcyclist who spent almost two weeks in ICU after riding into a cow.
The incident happened at night in Meerensee, and to make matters worse, the dark colour of the animal gave the victim no chance of seeing the danger ahead.
His injuries were severe and aside from the pain and possible future physical and mental scars he will carry, the cost of treatment and rehabilitation will run into tens of thousands of rands.
The incident could quite easily have been fatal.
The ongoing issue of cattle roaming in streets, suburbs and even the industrial area, won’t simply go away.
Beyond the possibility of accidents, there are health risks, and potential damage to gardens and property.
Children living at these homes are potentially liable to be gored by an angry or frightened beast, as are pets.
On a previous occasion, homeowners have been known to take matters into their own hands in trying to disperse the cattle – which does no good for neighbourly relations.
And let’s not forget that the owner of the cattle also has much to lose, either through an accident or encounter with a dog or even an irate homeowner or driver.
Initially, the encroachment of cattle on suburban roads and highways was linked to the drought, with owners moving their beasts to any available grazing place.
However, good rains have since fallen in the region and while the Goedertrouw Dam is still at a dangerously low level, other dams have filled and the water table has risen appreciably.
The municipal authorities – who may well share some liability for accident claims - should now ensure things go ‘back to normal’ before more accidents occur.
The same goes for the dangers posed by the many who beg at street corners, standing or kneeling between the traffic lanes and also often dressed in dark clothing.
Must we wait until one of them is killed before we act?