Re­newed call for con­trol of street me­chan­ics

Zululand Observer - Weekender - - ZO NEWS - Dave Savides

DE­SPITE years of plans and prom­ises, there is no ap­par­ent end in sight to the pol­lu­tion of street me­chan­ics who pol­lute the CBD in the area close to the Richards Bay Mag­is­trate’s Court.

More than a dozen ve­hi­cles at a time can be seen at any time daily, re­ceiv­ing re­pairs.

Dis­carded spare part boxes, re­placed en­gine or body parts lit­ter the street and pave­ment of Rua de Franc – the road con­nect­ing Pe­seta Parade with Ru­pee Riff, close to ma­jor spare parts shops.

Oil floods into the road and ad­ja­cent drains and storm wa­ter sys­tem, while lack of pub­lic toi­let ameni­ties re­sults in the nearby grassy area be­ing used for that pur­pose.

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity has been try­ing to re­solve the prob­lem for over 10 years, seek­ing a bal­ance be­tween ‘clean­ing the streets’ and pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­nity for the ‘sec­ond econ­omy’.

Un­der­tak­ings by the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to tow away and im­pound ve­hi­cles, and to take ac­tion against me­chan­ics trad­ing in con­tra­ven­tion of Nui­sance and Street Trad­ing by-laws have not been forth­com­ing and warn­ings are ig­nored.

The goal of re­lo­cat­ing the me­chan­ics to an ap­pro­pri­ate site where oil traps, ablu­tions and waste bins are pro­vided – such as be­hind nearby Taxi City - has not ma­te­ri­alised.

Mean­while, neigh­bour­ing busi­ness own­ers grow in­creas­ingly frus­trated at the wa­ter and land con­tam­i­na­tion af­fect­ing their prop­er­ties.

‘It is not right that I get a park­ing fine for my car fac­ing the wrong way on the street but mu­nic­i­pal traf­fic of­fi­cers’ and of­fi­cials’ eyes re­main shut to the daily dam­age and de­struc­tion be­ing done through the il­le­gal street me­chan­ics,’ said one owner.

A decade plus later and the same prob­lem still per­sists

The mess left be­hind at the end of each day poses a prob­lem as it ends up in the re­ceiv­ing en­vi­ron­ment

By 10am on Mon­day this week no fewer than 13 ve­hi­cles were lined up for re­pairs

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