Stray cattle wreaks havoc

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GK CRONJE

11 May 2021

Despite this being a known and pressing issue in Ermelo, MLM officials are yet to take decisive action.

The issue of stray livestock in Ermelo residential areas, parts of the CBD and the outskirts has been ongoing for years, with no action on part of Msukaligwa Local Municipality (MLM) and its departments. In this case, by-laws are wholly ignored and remain unenforced by authorities, creating a vicious cycle of frustration, property damage and danger for motorists. Various residents have reported that their dogs get uncontrollably riled up by stray livestock roaming the residential wards, most notably in the De Bruin Park area. Reports have come in from residents stating that livestock has gotten so used to residential traffic and scolds from angry residents that not even car horns spook these cattle when they loaf around the streets, impeding traffic and grazing on the sidewalks of residences. Several motorists have narrowly avoided colliding with these bumbling animals, who couldn’t care less for oncoming traffic.

Motorists having to swerve, brake suddenly and drive on the opposite side of the roadway to avoid these animals pose a grave danger for motorists, pedestrians and the cattle alike. This issue, however, is not confined to the CBD and residential wards, as several complaints have been lodged by residents regarding cattle grazing the graveyards, trampling precious memories and damaging vases, flowers and other memorabilia left to honor those long gone. Despite this being a known and pressing issue in Ermelo, MLM officials are yet to take decisive action. At this time, both MLM and the SAPS in Ermelo turn a blind eye to the growing issue, which have, and will again, result in a loss of life as motorists collide with stray animals which are left to their own devices.

Stray cattle have been reported lounging around the non-working traffic light at the Church- and Voortrekker Streets intersection. The photo right depicts the damage a motorist suffered after colliding with a stray calf in Border Street, which darted across the road while shrouded in darkness.