The City of Tshwane gets it right: a service-delivery thank you
When local government bodies get things wrong, people are quick to complain, and one of the phrases that we have seen a lot of in the media lately is “service-delivery protests”.
But sometimes they get things right, and people tend to say less about that.
When we were coming home from church this morning we noticed that municipal workers were plasnting trees in George Storar Drive. Not little saplings, but full-grown jacaranda trees, for which Pretoria has been famous. It is now late spring, and the jacarandas are blooming — here they are in Middel Street, at the eastern end of George Storar Drive.
George Storar Drive had a few small trees in the centre islands, barely more than shrubs, and some flower beds, but if they take in their new home, these full-grown trees should look quite spectacular in a couple of seasons’ time, and change the whole appearance of the road.
George Storar Drive is, in a way, the entrance to the academic part of the city, as there are a lot of educational instituions along it, or that it leads to, including the University of Pretoria, and the University of South Africa as well a several high schools.
It looks as though some trees had to be removed because a road was being widened somewhere else, so congratulations to the city authorities for thinking of another place to put them, a plac e where they will look really good.
Jacarandas are exotic to South Africa, and a few years ago there was a lot of antipathy in official circles to illegal alien vegetation, and under that policy Pretoria would have lost all its jacarandas, for which it has been famous for years. Lots of places that had alien vegetation have been cleared, but now the policy has been softened a bit. A few days ago I was listening to a radio programme about the Tsitsikama forest, and someone was saying that exotic trees, like wattles, protected the indigenous forest, because the wattles were available for firewood, whereas if they were not people would be chopping down trees in the few remaining bits of indigenous forest for that purpose.
About a month ago we noted that where former council houses were damaged in a severe hailstorm last year, the city council was helping the residents to replace the old asbestos roofs with galvanised iron ones, which, in addtion to being more resistant to hail damage, are also made of a safer material.
So congratulations to the City Council of Tshwane for good ideas for beautifying the city and improving the quality of life of its citizens in different ways. If anyone from the city counsil is reading this, they can take it as a service-delivery thank you.