Fibre trenching headache in Parkmore for local businesses

Hippo Zourides, owner at The Generator in Parkmore shows the rubble that was left behind after the trenches was re-done.

 

Following the recent uproar in Parkmore about fibre trenching taking place, businesses are still being disrupted, two weeks later.

Sandton Chronicle reported in Week ending 5 May, that Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) is installing fibre without informing any of the businesses prior to the trenching.

The purpose of trenching down 11th Street, is not a neighbourhood-wide installation but for a single client, Doctors Bloch and Partners Incorporated.

Henri Wallace, IT manager at Bloch and Partners said their fibre is not up and running yet and that digging will be continue until 11 May. “The fibre will only be up by the end of May,” said Wallace.

The trenching was supposed to be completed within a day to avoid disruption, however, the team has been back on site a few times since and baricaded the parking in front of the businesses.

On 3 May, the barricades were up again with no work being done.

Hippo Zourides, owner at The Generator in Parkmore, points to the trench that caused disruptions to businesses in the area.

Wesley Nash, acting chief operations officer for DFA said, “We had informed the Council and obtained the required permissions. Over and above this, we consulted with the business owners who would be directly impacted by the project.

“Mars Fibre had informed local businesses that the process of tarring the trenches would take place on the 3 May and possibly 4 May should the weather not hold up,” said Nash.

DFA has provided a list of businesses that were spoken to, however, these businesses were only informed after the initial trenching had taken place.

On 10 May the trenches had to be redone because the ‘cutlines’ were not straight. This resulted in the parking area in front of the businesses being barricaded again.

Hippo Zourides, owner of The Generator, a restaurant in Parkmore said, “Each time they have closed off the area to re-dig the holes, we lost around 50 per cent of our income because customers can’t park in front of the restaurant.”

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Christine Schlottman of Black Forest Bakery said, “Last week there was a gentleman who came to my shop to inform me [that they were] going to close up the trenches properly and cover them with tar. They blocked off the parking the whole day and nothing was done. He wrote my name and shop name down to have proof that he had told me, but nothing about this week.”

Kate Wardle, deputy chairperson for the Parkmore Community Association (PCA) said, “We note the response from DFA but maintain that neither the PCA nor the businesses were informed prior to the initial trenching.

“There was some attempt to tell people about it after the first round of trenching, but at PCA we feel that it is ridiculous to inconvenience a whole number of businesses that they should lose business for a number of days.

“It is unethical of DFA to put this many businesses at risk for the sake of one new client, and they should have thought about that before they agreed to trench for one client.”

Bertha Peters-Scheepers, spokesperson for the Johannesburg Roads Agency said DFA has a wayleave with a start date of 23 April until 23 September. “Residents and businesses are encouraged to check the website for all wayleaves issued if they have doubts about any trenching affecting them.”

Should residents and businesses want to complain, they can log a fault on 086 056 2874; hotline@jra.org.za; @MyJra; or the JRA Find&Fix mobile app.

Were you inconvenienced by the trenches in Parkmore? Let us know on our timeline, Sandton Chronicle or tweet us @Sandton_News

  AUTHOR
Pieter Dempsey

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