Municipality must act against roaming cattle

ROAD DANGER: Cattle roam on the centre island of the busy Uitenhage-Port Elizabeth road as cars speed past -
ROAD DANGER: Cattle roam on the centre island of the busy Uitenhage-Port Elizabeth road as cars speed past –

HAS the NMMM not noticed the unabated increase in cattle herds grazing all across the metropole?

Any attempts the metro has made to resolve this problem have clearly failed.

The traffic department and SAPS should not be expected to resolve this problem as they do not have adequate resources. I have been informed by a police officer that they are being inundated with calls from residents with cattle invading their private property.

The owners of these cattle herds are not impoverished citizens, but simply persons exploiting the fact that the municipality has either lost control or the will to maintain the bylaws of the metro. These cattle are worth more than R5 000 each! The maths speaks for itself. Accidents have happened and will continue unless the “urban cattle ranchers” are stopped in their tracks. Imagine a fully laden taxi or school bus colliding with these animals.

It is common to see these cattle graze alongside the freeway bordering Despatch where the legal speed limit is 120km/h. Strays lost by the herders can be found grazing throughout the night on the freeway.

These cattle are not always visible and especially in inclement weather are potential death traps. Would a viable solution not be for the metro to empower a private company to collect and impound these animals?

The total cost can be covered by the “urban cattle ranchers” themselves. As mentioned these animals are valuable to the owners and would certainly be collected.

If not, they can then be sold to defray costs. Importantly a database can then be created where all cattle are branded so that the owners can be traced and held accountable for any deaths, injuries or damages their actions have caused.

It would be interesting to hear from the legal fraternity on the potential liability the NMMM is exposed to for any death, injury or damage any citizen may suffer. It is only a matter of time before the NMMM will have to respond to legal action.

Cattle roaming freely simply do not belong in modern cities and towns. Our citizens and children need to be protected.

-Shaun Hickson, concerned citizen, Port Elizabeth

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