City won’t budge over calls for tree to go

Neighbours Andrina Schaffers and Christine Stone, from Lentegeur, complain about overhanging trees.

A tree and its overhanging branches are at the centre of a spat between Lentegeur residents and the City of Cape Town.

While the residents say the branches of the tree, which is in the City-owned Lupin Park, interfere with their satellite TV signals and could damage their carports, the City maintains that its staff have already removed dead branches from the tree and that there is no “reasonable cause” to remove the tree completely because it is “healthy and isn’t interfering with services”.

Resident Christine Stone said she had been trying for the past four years to get the tree either removed or branches hanging over the roofs of carports cut.

The City doesn’t deny this, and Zahid Badroodien, mayoral committee member for community services and health, told the Plainsman: “The recreation and parks department engages with the complainant regularly. Another inspection was done on Tuesday February 5 and nothing was found to be invasive about the trees besides a few dead branches high up, which were removed.”

Ms Stone added: “We are having problems with our blocked gutters, blocked drains and no signal in Dstv due to these branches,” she said.

“I had my dish moved three time already at my cost and it still plays up when it is windy and my neighbours are also complaining.”

She said the roots of the trees were pushing up the park’s paving.

Her neighbour Andrina Schaffers said that in 2017 a branch had fallen onto her carport, and damaged a wall. Fruit regularly fell from the tree onto her roof.

But Dr Badroodien says there’s nothing more the City can do. “The department has even gone the extra mile to appease the complainant by removing all of the tree’s middle branches, but there is no reasonable cause for having the tree completely removed,” he said.