No respite from stray cattle
14 July 2020
On previous occasions, MLM stated that residents should contact the call centre to report such incidents. However, the inefficiency of the call centre, coupled with the lackluster response time from municipal departments have made this statement all but redundant.
Over the course of several years, cattle owners have systematically circumvented the by-laws of Msukaligwa Local Municipality (MLM) with regards to the care, control and branding of cattle and other stray animals. These individuals have also taken advantage of MLM’s lax attitude and have erected pens and makeshift shelters for farm animals in several wards. Despite the municipality’s by-laws stating that no person may keep farm animals in an enclosure or stable within 15 meters of any boundary of any land, dwelling, building or any structure used for human habitation, or 50 meters of any water resource or water supply intended or used for human consumption, transgressors live their best lives without consequence. Although it is mandated by the Animal Identification Act, Act 6 of 2000, a large percentage of the stray animals roaming the CBD, roadways, wards and surrounding areas are unmarked and unbranded.
The fact that there are no longer pounding services offered by local companies makes life extremely difficult for residents and road users alike. Stray animals and cattle impede the flow of traffic, and have been the cause of many an accident in the vicinity of Ermelo. The inherent danger of stray cattle is especially notable on the N11 Ermelo-Hendrina road, where several serious collisions have been caused by these nuisance strays. Stray cattle and animals within wards demolish gardens, tear open refuse bags and unnecessarily rile up neighborhood dogs.
On previous occasions, MLM stated that residents should contact the call centre to report such incidents. However, the inefficiency of the call centre, coupled with the lackluster response time from municipal departments have made this statement all but redundant. Although the municipal by-laws grants the municipality the power to rapidly fill their coffers by impounding and selling stray animals if they are not collected by their owners, the motivation seems to be lacking for unknown reasons. MLM ignored the enquiry submitted by the Tribune regarding this matter.