Roaming cattle in EL suburb pose a danger

By Nonsindiso Qwabe

Dorchester Heights residents have called on Buffalo City Metro to enforce its bylaws and impound cattle, which they say have been roaming freely in the suburb for three weeks.

The residents are worried that it is only a matter of time before an accident is caused by the cattle, which graze freely along the banks of the Nahoon River.

ON THE MOVE: Cattle seen roaming freely in the upmarket East London suburb of Dorchester Heights Picture: FACEBOOK

As a result of the growing frustration, livid residents have taken to social media platform Facebook to voice their anger and warn each other about the stray animals.

In other municipalities, freely roaming animals are taken away and kept at municipal pounds. If no one comes forward to pay the fine they are auctioned.

Resident Anton de Coning said they had had it with the bovine grazers.

“Almost every day for the last few weeks we have cattle roaming in the suburb, which is a bylaw [violation].

“These animals are not just a health risk but also a danger to traffic. We have made contact with the municipal traffic department, provincial traffic, SPCA, and SAPS with no success,” he said.

“Does an accident have to happen before something is done?”

Residents say the owner of the cattle is a Cambridge township resident they know only as Aubrey.

He could not be located by the Daily Dispatch.

Farm owners Basil Hempel and Joan Lesley Nicholls said residents initially accused them of allowing their cattle to roam free, thinking the cattle were theirs.

Nicholls said she had tried giving information on social media on the owner of the farm, but “no one wants to risk entering the Cambridge settlement as it’s not very safe”.

“We aren’t certain who would be responsible for finding the owner to tell him that his cattle are causing a problem and danger to traffic.”

Hempel said he believed the drought had brought the cattle into their suburb.

“This has been happening for several years and we’ve been seeing them again for about three weeks now. They graze on the river banks.

“I’ve tried speaking to the owner several times, but each time he just gives excuses and doesn’t do anything about it.”

De Coning said: “We would like action from the relevant authorities to be taken and either remove the cattle from the area and the owner should be made aware of this issue and prevent it from happening in the future. I don’t want trouble for anyone, just a solution to the problem.”

DA councillor Dinesh Vallabh said: “I was shocked to see cows roaming there and when I checked on social media I saw that there were a lot of complaints about this.

“The owner needs to take responsibility for them. I’m in the process of taking this up with the relevant officials.”

BCM traffic and law enforcement chief commander Quinton Chetty said: “I was not aware of this. If there are cows causing danger and obstruction we will try to locate the owner. Our provincial department will assist us in this matter. Residents can contact (043)705-9333 for further assistance.” —



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