All hands on deck for Zoo and Zoo Lake blitz operation

19 January 2020

The Executive Mayor of the City of Joburg, Cllr Geoff Makhubo and the Member of the Mayoral Committee for Community Development, Cllr Margaret Arnolds conducted an oversight visit and led a seasonal blitz operation at the Joburg Zoo on Saturday, 18 January 2020 from 7am.

The atmosphere prior to commencement, which kickstarted by triggering a countdown clock, saw teams from across the entity in green, blue, brown and orange overalls gather at the Zoo, with a host of specialised vehicles and equipment.

The Executive Mayor, Councillor Geoff Makhubo commended the team for working even in the rain to make sure service shortfalls are speedily addressed. He challenged the teams to do more and confirmed that he will be present in all regions, including the Inner City to ensure that basic concerns are tackled.

The successful operation dealt with issues within the Zoo, along the outside perimeter and at Zoo Lake. This included resolving electrical and plumbing concerns, reinstating fences, installing new flushing mechanisms in the ablution facilities, removing damaged signs inside and outside the Zoo and focusing on tree and lawn maintenance.

“Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo (JCPZ) the entity responsible for designated open spaces including the Joburg Zoo, public parks, street trees and nature reserves, is working in all regions, to tackle the seasonal backlogs in horticultural services, after the intense rains. This blitz operation is not limited to the Zoo,” said MMC Arnolds.

Proactive plans were developed by JCPZ that included internal operations and external contractors to address the seasonal overgrowth, however the delayed rains had a knock-on effect on schedules over the festive season, where staffing is limited due to the holidays and plans are further disrupted due to the erratic rains.

This is a seasonal issue which has warranted JCPZ utilizing its limited resources over the weekend, to speedily resolve all backlogs.

The mayoral delegation included visits to the various enclosures within the Joburg Zoo, focusing on animal wellbeing. The oversight visit comes on the heels of the NSPCAs inspection on 7 January, which gave the zoo a clean bill of health.

MMC Arnolds, who entered the Otter enclosure to inspect the quality of water and then visited the three elephants bathing in their new pond, reassured residents that JCPZ, is working hard to make certain designated spaces are maintained and that our animals well taken care off.

Residents who are unsure of which departments are responsible for neglected open spaces and verge maintenance are urged to call 011 375 5555 to register their requests.

MMC Arnolds also took the time to thank the many residents who are maintaining and managing sidewalks that fall under the JRA mandate. Arnolds commented that, “the City sincerely appreciates every resident that has taken the time to maintain and beautify areas adjacent to their homes which builds happy neighbourhoods and healthy families”.