Bad road causing losses for farmers

2009-02-08 00:00

Farmers in the Karkloof area outside Howick are fed up with losing business because of the Transport Department’s failure to upgrade roads in the area.

Philip Benson told The Witness that one of the problematic roads is the P145.

He said the road has caused farmers to lose business because vehicles get stuck on some stretches after rain, making it difficult to make or receive deliveries.

Benson said that on Thursday last week tractors were used to pull out six trucks that had become stuck in the mud.

“A school bus transporting children was stuck for two hours on Friday. We can’t use the road to get food for our animals,” said Benson .

“Last week our diesel company said they could not deliver diesel to us because of the state of the road.

“We have been told that the department has no funds to fix the road.”

Benson said farmers stationed a tractor on the roadside last week to help vehicles that get stuck.

A representative of the Howick District Land Owners’ Association, Bobby Hoole, said the problem has been going on for five years.

He said the association meets the department regularly with the aim of fixing the problem, but it persists.

“When the roads are repaired they last a few weeks and then go back to the same state they were in. This impacts on commercial farming in the area. It affects productivity and inconveniences labour,” said Hoole.

Attempts to get a comment from the department of Transport were unsuccessful.

thandom@witness.co.za

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