A tragedy waiting to happen

2013-04-12 00:00

THE low-level bridge across the Msunduzi near Sobantu is a hazard and it will again lead to a loss of life, community members have warned.

Rubble and the rubbish have blocked the flow of the river underneath the bridge and water is overflowing the roadway.

Said a local man who asked not to be identified: “For the past three months it has been overflowing because it has not been cleaned underneath.

“That bridge will kill again if it is not attended to soon … it is currently flooding, and this is not supposed to be the case.”

He said he had often witnessed residents struggling to cross the bridge and cars turning back when the drivers became worried they would be swept away.

“People will get washed off and then we will all be crying and complaining about it when we did nothing to prevent that tragedy.”

Following a downpour on Wednesday, The Witness saw several bakkies crossing the bridge with the water halfway to their wheels.

A pedestrian rolled his trousers up to his knees before walking across.

The resident said: “It is humiliating that people who go to work and have no choice but to cross at that bridge …

“In many instances you find them taking off their shoes, and women lifting their skirts so they are able to cross.

“The smaller cars driving there often have to do a u-turn and go back to avoid crossing the bridge because they fear they will be swept away and in the process they cause a traffic jam.

“The municipality needs to go there and clean the bridge. For the past three months, the bridge has been under water.

“There is another bridge down in East Street, but this does not happen there because that bridge is always cleaned underneath”.

The bridge has in the recent past has been responsible for several cars being swept off it, and in some instances, deaths.

Thandi Matiwane, the councillor in the Sobantu area, said she had been fighting to sort out the bridge for years.

“Many people have lost their lives there …

“There are people who have to walk to work and cross that bridge. If its flooded they cannot go there and hence they do not get paid.”

The municipality was contacted for comment on Wednesday and again yesterday afternoon, but had not responded by the time of going to print.

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