No end to couple’s driveway nightmare

Complaints go unheard

MORNINGSIDE residents Charmaine and Fredrick Vermaak have been battling it out with the Buffalo City Municipality (BCM) over a driveway hitch since August last year.

Faced with a flooded driveway at their Tewksbury Road home, caused by a leaking pipe, the Vermaaks reached out to BCM asking for something to be done.

“The pipe was leaking for a good few weeks before I was able to get them to come and replace it. I phoned continuously and eventually they did something about it,” Charmaine said.

After digging up the Vermaaks’ driveway and replacing the leaking pipe, BCM promised to fix up and re-pave the driveway within three to six weeks, according to Charmaine.

“Again, I have been phoning continuously and our driveway is still one big mess. When it rains it is even worse. It took a long time to get the leak fixed, but this is ridiculous, we have been waiting since August last year. ”

The three to six week interval was to be used by BCM to check that the pipe was secure and ensure no more leaks could be expected.

However, almost six months have passed and the Vermaak’s driveway is still sporting an uneven heap of sabunga in its centre.

“I have been phoning the municipality for months. I even tried phoning at five minute intervals for an entire day, but I’m either put on hold or cut off,” Charmaine said.

“When I eventually got through to someone at the municipality I was told that they were extremely busy and I should just keep phoning and eventually someone would deal with my complaint.”

Producing a cloud of dust every time it is used, the Vermaak’s uneven and sandy driveway is the primary entrance to their home and they fear it might cause some bad falls.

“An 84-year-old lady from church came to visit us a few weeks ago. She knew about the driveway and she even had her walking stick, but she slipped and if I had not been behind her she would have been hurt badly,” Charmaine said.

While complaining to BCM would not be the Vermaak’s ideal option, Charmaine’s husband, Fredrick recently had a heart attack and is unable to pave the driveway himself.

“If I could, I would just do it myself and get it out of the way. We would not have to wait so long,” Fredrick said.

“We are ratepayers. We do not make the municipality wait for their money so why should we have to wait so long for a service to which we have a right?” Charmaine said.

The Go! contacted BCM last week and this week with no response received at the time of going to press.


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