TO CHOP or not to chop? This seems to have been the question recently as members of Vryheid’s Tree Committee met with a resident who wanted to chop down a tree on the sidewalk that, they claimed, was posing a medical hazard.
This resident living in the Bessie’s Hof Flats in Deputation Street, said that she and her husband were approached by Councillor Magda Viktor a few weeks ago, advising them to leave a tree they had started to chop down on the sidewalk in front of their home, alone.
“I tried to explain that my husband has bronchitis and that the thorn tree was negatively affecting his health but she would not hear any of it,” said this resident.
Feeling concerned about her husband’s health, this resident then went and spoke to Community Services Director, Archie Khumalo.
Councillor Viktor said that this resident did not say anything about her husband’s health when she initially approached her about the tree.
“She only informed me that the tree was causing a mess in their yard as there were thorns all over the place,” said Cllr Viktor.
Cllr Viktor, said that she had informed this resident that she needed stronger reasons than the mere fact that the tree was a messy nuisance to have it cut down.
On whether or not the Tree Committee has had compliance issues with the community, Cllr Viktor said that, besides a few hiccups here and there, the community is generally good with abiding by the laws regarding illegal felling in town.
“Community members are the ones that are constantly alerting me about people cutting down trees so this means that they are concerned about the well-being of the environment,” said Cllr Viktor
Cllr Viktor would like to remind the community that, once a tree is planted on municipal property, it belongs to the municipality.
She also added that if a tree is problematic, contact the municipality or the tree committee, and they will see whether it needs to be chopped down or trimmed.