Phalaborwa town has always boasted beautiful thick natural bush areas that separated neighbourhoods and added to the natural beauty of this bushveld paradise.

But in the last two decades the act of illegally dumping household rubbish, garden refuse and even mutilated animal carcasses has taken precedence over the more civilized act of driving to the dumpsite to discard your waste.

Evidently, the act of fulfilling your mandate as a municipality in keeping these bushy areas and parks in the town you claim to serve, clean and maintained, has suffered a similar fate.

Runners, dogwalkers and residents going for morning strolls have long since complained to their ward councilor about having to navigate the heaps of decomposing household waste scattered sporadically along their favourite routes.

DA Ward Councilor, Sybrandt de Beer, lodged complaint after complaint with the omni-absent Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality to see to it that the bushes be cleared and cleaned. For three years this was not done, until this week, just a few months away from the coming elections, the BPM Parks department finally stepped up.

Their answer to the problem? Bulldoze entire sections of bush and leave nothing standing. Not a single tree, shrub, plant or plume of grass escaped the might of the bulldozer that ripped through the bush between Pres Steyn and Pres Brand Streets this week. The once beautiful, albeit not maintained, natural bush was turned into a desert in the space of an afternoon.

The municipality in the meantime have allegedly told Councilor De Beer that they will not be building any houses in the areas they destroyed and they have plans to destroy the entire bush area between Soetdoring and Essenhout Streets.

“At the back of Pres Steyn Street where there are a lot of sewerage drains, there was regular overflowing and the excuse from the municipality’s water department was that they cannot get into the area to unblock these drains because of the overgrown bush,” stated de Beer. “They will not have any excuse to repair their drains now, as there is no longer any bush in this area.”

De Beer further told Bulletin that he had received many complaints from residents in his ward about the overgrown bush which is why the areas were bulldozed. At the time of going to print we had not received any information on these “bush clearing” projects from the municipality’s spokesperson.