1. TreesResidents can only log a tree related request if the tree is situated on the sidewalk in front of the owner’s property. Residents are not allowed to log a request relating to a neighbour’s tree or a tree in front of any other property. The only exception to this rule is for a fallen tree that is blocking a road. In this case anyone noticing this may log a service request.
1.1. Removal of tree (chopping down a tree)
JCPZ does not permit the cutting down of trees. The only circumstances under which a tree may be removed are as follows: a dead tree, severely dying back tree/and a tree that is diseased beyond recovery. Unstable trees that pose danger to people or property may also be removed.
JCPZ will not consider the following reasons for tree removal requests such as: Security hazard, dropping of leaves/seeds/flowers into a pool or gutters, blocking sunlight, blocking of streetlights (making the property dark), blocking residents view, if the tree is exotic/invasive, the tree is not indigenous, wants to construct an additional entrance to the resident’s property and the tree is in the way. The tree grows into the overhead power cables, the tree blocks the reception of the residents’ satellites.
Should the customer insist on the removal of the tree for any of the invalid reasons stated above or other reasons, it may be done but then the customer will be required to pay for (1) the value of the tree (as JCPZ is losing an asset) and (2) the labour for removing the tree. The customer may, with JCPZ’s permission, use a private tree feller for his/her own account, but then he/she must still pay for the value of the tree and obtain a letter of permission from JCPZ. Either way, a form must be completed by the customer and the approval and payment processes must be followed. Trees removed by property owners without the permission of JCPZ, the owner will be liable to pay a hefty fine.
1.2. Pruning of a tree
There are five types of tree pruning:
Property line: This is when branches overhang a fence/boundary wall. These branches will be cut away from the fence/wall as branches are not supposed to interfere with the property.
Feather up: When the branches are so low that pedestrians cannot walk on the sidewalk. These low-hanging branches will be cut off from the tree trunk.
Away from the street: When branches are hanging in the street so much so they scratch cars that are driving along the street.
Topping: If a tree is too high for the customer’s liking, topping is not option as it is not healthy for a tree.
Away from power lines: Should tree branches touch a power line, a call must be logged by City Power so that they can provide JCPZ with a purchase order number. City Power will also make arrangements for the power supply to be interrupted while JCPZ removes obstructing branches from the power lines.
1.3. Fallen trees/branches:
A standby team operates 24 hours a day to remove fallen trees/branches that obstruct traffic or pose other dangers on the affected site. The names and contact numbers of the standby teams are supplied to Joburg Connect ongoingly on Fridays.
The standby team attends to the above-mentioned emergencies only. Their task involves only chopping down the tree. They will then stack the branches on the sidewalk, for collection at a later stage by another team.
If a private tree falls from a property, across the fence and into the street, JCPZ will cut it down, to ensure motorists are safe, however, will not remove the branches at any stage.
Tree emergencies include: Obstruction of streets, trees that fell onto properties or vehicles, trees that fell onto the sidewalk but block the owner’s driveway, prevent the owner exiting from the property, trees that fell onto people.
Trees or branches that fell onto a sidewalk but pose no danger or obstruction are not regarded as an emergency and as such are attended to during normal working hours.
For damage caused by fallen trees/branches, owners can claim from the JCPZ’s Risk and Insurance Unit.
1.4. Roots causing problems
Root pruning is not supported, especially large trees because they cause trees to be unstable and topple over.
1.5. Removal of cut branches
JCPZ will only remove branches of public trees that were pruned by the entity. It takes seven days to remove the branches. This is because trees are shredded into sawdust before being removed from a site to save the time that it will take to transport branches to a dumpsite. However, a special equipment called “a chipper” is required for shredding trees. Unfortunately, there are only a few of these available within JCPZ. Chippers are then used not for an individual tree, but only when all the trees in a street are pruned as part of tree pruning maintenance.
JCPZ may sometimes remove all the branches but leave the tree trunk/stump behind. The reason for this is that the stumps are too heavy to be lifted by employees and require a special truck, called a “grabber”, to lift and load onto a truck.
Owners are responsible for disposing of tree branches and shouldn’t be thrown on public open spaces or pavements from trees that are inside their properties.
1.6. Tree planting requests
Newly developed areas are usually targeted by JCPZ to plant trees as a project during a specific time of the year such as during Arbor Month. JCPZ may consider a request to plant trees in front of a property as JCPZ wants to discourage residents from planting their own trees on the sidewalks as very often people plant trees that are not ideal for sidewalks and can cause problems in the long run. The second reason is that once a tree is planted on a sidewalk, it becomes JCPZ’s liability and responsibility to maintain.
2. Grass cutting
JCPZ cuts grass on selected main arterials. Residents are requested to cut the grass on the sidewalk in front of their own properties as part of maintaining a neat sidewalk. Grass cutting is done in all public open spaces. In extreme cases, where long grass obstructs the view of oncoming traffic and it is a potential danger, JCPZ will cut the grass on the given corner. JCPZ do not cut grass under power lines even in open spaces, due to insurance implications, this is the responsibility of either City Power or Eskom), on highways, on provincial roads (roads marked “R”, e.g., R101), or national roads (roads marked N, e.g., N12).
3. Parks and nature reserves
For any illegal activities and required maintenance inside one of JCPZ’s facilities, it must be reported and logged for JCPZ – including long grass, litter, request for litter bins, broken playground equipment (this enjoys priority status), broken park furniture, paving problems (of paths), broken pipes or taps, incidents of crime, missing manhole covers, lights inside parks not working, broken fences or gates, etc. JCPZ will liaise with Joburg Water or City Power (for high mast lights not working) or Pikitup where appropriate, otherwise, refer it to the correct JCPZ depot or department (e.g., Facilities Management or Park Rangers).
As under “Parks and nature reserves” above. Additional call types for cemeteries include damage to graves or tomb stones and sunken graves. Very few calls are logged for cemeteries.
5. The Zoo
Zoo visitors must visit the info kiosk or approach a Zoo employee should they spot a problem in the zoo or use the social media platforms