New Germany residents dispute liability over fallen tree damage

The home owner is still awaiting a decision from the Parks Department on whether or not they can remove the tree that is still lying on her roof. PHOTO: Submitted.

A HUGE tree from a panhandle site fell onto a property on Campbell Road in New Germany, damaging the roof, fence and windows on Sunday night [14 May], at about 8.45pm

According to the home owner, Pam Rabikissoon, the disaster management team arrived to assess the damage and she was told that they could not assist, however a tree felling company will be sent the following morning.

“The municipality sent out a team on Monday morning and they told my husband that the tree doesn’t belong to them as it is private property. They agreed to only clear the branches on my neighbour’s driveway so she can gain access to her property but not the rest of the branches that is in our property. Our neighbour said she did not plant this tree,” said Rabikissoon.

It is an old fir tree and Rabikissoon said there are about four more of those in the area.

ALSO READ: When Mynahs and Umdoni trees caused a stink in Pinetown

She added that she spoke to a woman called Lindiwe at the Parks Department. Lindiwe informed her that her manager is in the process of verifying whether the tree is on municipal land and she must await feedback.

“Our insurers will cover all the damages but not clear the tree as they say it was not on our property. Is it fair for the Parks Department to clear only the driveway for my neighbour but not the rest of the tree that is sitting on our roof and property?” questioned Rabikissoon.

Meanwhile, the Rabikissoon family is forced to hold off any repairs while they wait for a response from the Parks Department.

Her insurance company cut back a few branches of the tree which is on her roof. This will enable Rabikissoon to arrange to erect a tarpaulin on the roof to prevent the rain from entering the house until the Parks Department is able to remove the bark of the tree from her roof.

ALSO READ: GO!Durban includes fig tree into plans

Khethumusa Ntshakala responded to Rabikissoon on behalf of the Parks Department earlier today. She wrote: “Unfortunately the tree is on private land not municipal land or verge as you can see on the attached map highlighted. We do not do private land.”

A map that the Parks Department sent to Pam Rabikissoon to outline the property ownership on Campbell Road, New Germany.


However, Rabikissoon’s neighbours who live on the panhandle properties are disputing this. They claim their driveways were cut out for them by the municipality when the property was divided into plots for them to build. They are adamant that this is common land and therefore will not take responsibility for the tree removal.

ALSO READ: Help welfare organisat cut overgrown tree

Rabikissoon feels like she has been treated unfairly and her only hope if for the municipality to reconsider their decision –  to perhaps help to cut up the branches and she will pay for the clearing of branches if need be just so she can repair the damages.



Do you want to receive news alerts via WhatsApp? Send us a WhatsApp message (not an sms) with your name and surname (ONLY) to 060 532 5409.

You can also join the conversation on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Deshni Ramkissoon-Pillay

find your
dream home

looking for an

List your Property

It's easy in only three
simple steps...

find professional
services in
your area

Locate a business
operating in
your area

List your Business

Want more customers? They're online right now, searching for businesses like yours. Place your ad now...

Latest News


northglennews queensburghnews bereamail
Next Story x
MEC shocked by medical school bribe scandal

Thanx for your referral. We have no doubt your friends will love our newsletter as much as you!

Don't forget to verify your email.

to our free NEWSLETTER
SUBSCRIBE to our FREE newsletter.

SELECT your titles:

Berea Mail
Highway Mail
Northglen News

Your details:

Your friends:

I didn't sign up for this
I'd like to see and read more... (Please indicate in comments section below)
I'm relocating (Please indicate where to)