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29 March 2011 at 10:38 - Posted by Anonymous

Municipality open to talks on boomed roads


Communities interested in road closures are urged to stand up and be counted.

City council has finally agreed to discuss road closure solutions at a public round table meeting chaired by the Public Protector. 
"We see this as an opportunity to mend fences and provide sustainable, reasonable solutions," said Mickey Wood of Significant Images cc, which acts on behalf of road closure applicants in submitting applications.
"But for this dialogue with city council to be meaningful, communities wanting road closure have to participate in the process." 
City council’s about-turn came after the Combined Chairpersons Committee lodged a formal complaint with the Public Protector about the City of Johannesburg's handling of road closure applications.
Significant Images cc lodged a supplementary complaint. The complaints were lodged because of city council's difficulty in processing, considering and enforcing road closures. 
An upbeat Woods said Significant Images had teamed up with attorney Gary Duke to represent communities seeking road closure, whether the structures were already in place or still awaited decision by city council."
Duke, who is involved in litigation surrounding road closures in Pretoria and Johannesburg, welcomed the initiative. "For too long residents and city council have been at loggerheads over road closures, to the extent that there has been talk of getting rid of the legislation that allows for road closures. This would leave all communities with road closures having to take down their structures."
But Duke said the latest development negated the need for such drastic action by the authorities. "Instead it provides the opportunity to engage with the city council in a positive way."
Woods also asked road closure applicants to send him their updated contact details. "As a result of delays, the contact details of most road closure applicants that were lodged with city council are now incorrect, hampering efforts to contact the communities concerned."
He said failure to do so could result in applicants not receiving city council communication on road closure, and decisions might be taken on closures in the absence of return communication from applicants. "The first you will know is when JRA comes to take down your structures." 
Details: Mickey Wood
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