TRAFFIC officials in Mthatha are continuing with a clampdown on livestock found wandering along the busy N2 and provincial roads, warning owners they could face criminal charges.
A total of 266 stray animals, mostly cattle, goats and donkeys, have been impounded since December 23 along the N2 and R61 routes which cut through the heart of Mthatha.
Yesterday, a herd of 66 cattle and 18 goats found wandering on the N2 near the affluent Northcrest suburb were impounded.
The action follows the removal of 65 cattle from Nelson Mandela Drive near Fort Gale on Saturday.
Arrive Alive spokesman Tshepo Machaea issued a stern warning yesterday to stock owners who continued to flout the rules. “Very few of the animals are marked.
“We are liaising with the Agriculture Department and the police’s stocktheft unit to make sure that owners brand all their livestock,” he said.
“We will then be able to create a database and, if there are any repeat offenders, they will be charged.”
Machaea said two people were killed when their vehicle collided with a stray animal near Mount Ayliff last month.
“Although not many people have been killed in such accidents in the festive season, there have been many accidents involving motorists hitting stray animals during the period.”
He said carcasses of dead animals like cows, donkeys and dogs were visible on the N2 and R61.
The owner of an impounded animal is required to pay a municipal fine of R200 to have his animal released.
They are also liable to pay a once off impoundment fee of R30 an animal and a daily sustenance fee of R25 per animal.
Livestock owners who went to the King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality’s animal pound to get their stock released complained that the fines were expensive.
“We don’t have money now after the festive season,” a livestock owner from KwaLindile village, whose nine cows were impounded on Saturday, said yesterday.
But King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality spokesman Sonwabo Mampoza said municipal bylaws did not allow animals to come anywhere near the town as they posed a threat to property.
– Sikho Ntshobane