We – owners, tenants and business people – who are actually residing on a property in a residential area, need to bear in mind the importance of tidiness and the ultimate purpose of the verges and roads outside our properties.

We, also, need to understand that these verges are part of the road-foundation, particularly that section of the verge that is on the side where the tar/road actually is. This part of the verge is for road-users, such as even pedestrians, to use freely.

Pedestrians, for instance, have the right to walk freely and safely off the tar and away from the dangers of traffic. Also to be considered are people pushing carts or riding bicycles, motor-cyclists and vehicle drivers. They all have the right to get off the road quickly in an emergency, to avoid an accident or to pull over safely, in the event of a break-down.

So, as Christians, what is our attitude to the verges outside our properties? It is good, if they are neat and nicely maintained. However, while we are maintaining them, shouldn’t we be aware of municipal rulings and, indeed, shouldn’t we do the best we can to provide full safety for all road-users all the time?

The Municipality encourages residents to look after their verges, but stresses that, at least, the first 5 metres from the edge of the tar should be kept free of any obstacles that might endanger any road-user.

The area beyond that 5/6 metres, from the original drainage ditch to the property wall/fence, may have rocks or stakes, flower beds, shrubs or trees etc, but the 5 metres closest to the tar/road should be level and, preferably, with cut grass or lawn.

What would Christ’s attitude be, if he was living in a property here today, regarding ‘barriers’ that are so often placed at the edge of the tar/road? Christ’s first two commandments to us are: firstly, to love God fully and completely, and, secondly, to love our neighbour as ourselves.

This is Not to satisfy ourselves first and, after that, to turn to our neighbour with the care and respect that may be left. Rather, it is our duty to care and respect our neighbour first and only after that should we think of ourselves. Our neighbour is not just the person living next door or our friends. He or she is any other person, anywhere, such as on the roads!