Tree lovers should not be alarmed at seeing trees being removed along the Braamfontein Spruit in Parkhurst and surrounding areas.
In an effort to ensure the safety of residents in the area, Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo (JCPZ) removed about 312 trees along the Delta-Orlando 88kV power servitude on Tuesday, 10 October 2023.
The initiative is a vital step to safeguard the community and protect critical infrastructure. Noeleen Mattera, who is the Media Relations Officer for JCPZ, says it does not condone the removal of trees as they are protected by strict open space bylaws. However, this tree removal initiative is imperative.
The towering trees, ranging from 10 to 15 meters in height, are encroaching on the 88 kV overhead powerlines, causing frequent power outages. The risk is not only limited to inconvenience; it extends to potential damage to City Power’s infrastructure, including the substation and transformer, as well as private properties.
City Power’s decision to isolate the area highlights the urgency of this operation.“The trees have also become a source of earthing for the powerlines, and failure to remove them will result in the power supply returning to the ground, which could cause potential fires of dry shrubs and grass, reoccurring power outages, and possible fatalities,” Mattera explains.
City Parks and Zoo recognises the significance of trees to the environment and the aesthetic appeal they bring to the city. However, the need to balance ecological concerns with public safety and infrastructure integrity is paramount.
JCPZ assures residents that the maintenance and management of trees across Johannesburg remain a priority.The tree removal project will unfold in three phases, spanning an estimated three to five weeks, depending on weather conditions that might affect the timeline.
As one of the most densely populated cities, Johannesburg relies on native trees to mitigate the effects of climate change. Trees play a crucial role in absorbing air pollutants and providing clean oxygen.