THE ILLEGAL felling of trees around town has left Ward 8’s councillor, Magda Viktor, no choice but to reinstate Vryheid’s Tree Committee.
“There are so many people around town that have just started felling without any permission from the municipality. While some community members are unaware that this is illegal, some that I have approached seemed to know but did not care anyway,” said Cllr Viktor.
Cllr Viktor said that it was important for members of the public to understand that, once a person plants a tree on municipal land, that tree automatically becomes the municipality’s property.
“You are then obliged to contact the community services department if, for any reason, you need to cut down or trim that tree in future,” she explained.
With the town’s cleanliness being high on her priority list, Cllr Viktor feels that curbing illegal felling will help reduce illegal dumping issues.
“Some people chop down these trees and then just head out and dump them anywhere but at the dumpsite. This is a real cause for concern as I have made it clear before that illegal dumpers will be fined,” she went on.
The tree committee consists of members of the public who are concerned about ensuring that nature is taken care of. The committee will also be keeping an eye out for illegal fellers in and around town.
“Unless it is being eaten by termites or has been struck by lightning, I honestly see no reason why we should be cutting down trees,” said Cllr Viktor, who went on to explain that the beauty of the town suffers as a result.
In closing, Cllr Viktor would like to encourage members of the public who feel it really necessary to fell a tree to contact AbaQulusi’s community services department first and to try and plant another tree when one is cut down.
“We need these trees to clean the air for us. If you fell an indigenous plant, try to ensure that you replace it with another indigenous plant,” she closed.