MORE and more Jeffreys Bay residents are taking matters in their own hands to clean up the town.
As the Kouga Municipality’s financial woes increased repairs and maintenance were pushed to the bottom of the priorities list, resulting in dirty sidewalks and overgrown verges.
This state of affairs has almost become part and parcel of the once well cared for holiday town.
Although many people have complained about the shabby appearance it mostly fell on deaf ears. Now, however, it seems residents have had enough as they start taking matters into their own hands.
Connie Barkhuizen who has been mowing the lawn and generally maintaining an open space that borders his house says he started cleaning up the park as this is the view from his house and he could not bear to look at the overgrown grass and the sad state of the park any longer.
“I now use my own lawnmower and electricity to cut the grass,” says Barkhuizen.
He says it takes him about two hours a week but it is worth it because apart from beautifying the huge open space he is also getting more than his share of exercise. The park also borders the very busy Myrtle Road.
His own electric lead is too short to reach the far edges of the park and therefore he asked his neighbour and the municipality for assistance, but to date neither one has responded.
Another resident who has stepped in is businessman JP Venter, owner of the SuperSpar in Jeffreys Bay. He bought a lawn mower and at his own expense mows and cleans Da Gama Street. In an open letter, surfing doyen, and J-Bay businesswoman Cheron Kraak has praised Venter for taking the initiative and doing something so positive.
“Instead of moaning about the municipality, you took it upon yourself to buy mowers and clean up the main road of Jeffreys Bay,” says Kraak.
“It was such a change to drive down the main road to see the curbs neatly mowed. ..It’s great that a local business can extend its responsibility to the streets of the town.”
Venter says he just got so fed-up with the situation he had to do something.