Blitz on potholes in Hilton, Howick

2014-10-30 00:00

DRIVING in swerving zigzags to avoid gaping potholes in Howick and Hilton could soon be a thing of the past.

The uMngeni Municipality is to spend R6 million fixing potholes and refurbishing its roads.

The municipality’s finance committee resolved at its meeting last week to spend more than R8 million rehabilitating its deteriorating infrastructure. R6 million will go to fixing the roads and R2,8 million will be spent on refurbishing municipal halls.

Howick residents have been waging a war against mushrooming potholes in the town, which have been outlined with luminous pink paint. Last year, residents were invited to e-mail photos of the potholes in their area to lovemypothole@gmail.com. This campaign was started by Shannon Rushworth, who had been putting up amusing signs near potholes.

Over the past months, there has been growing concern that potholes were getting deeper by the day and that some roads were so pitted with holes that they had become impassable.

uMngeni spokesperson Thando Mgaga said the municipality had been mindful of the criticism from the public.

Mgaga said the roads that will be urgently rehabilitated include those in Hilton, Merrivale and throughout Howick. Repairs will be prioritised according to the level of deterioration and those that require expansive resurfacing.

He said another determining factor will be the traffic volumes on those roads, and whether they are owned and maintained by the municipality.

The halls that will get facelifts include the Mpophomeni Theatre and Hall, as well as the Lidgetton, Howick West, KwaMevana, Hilton and Nxamalala halls. Mgaga said past financial constraints meant that maintenance work on the halls was not carried out.

The repairs will include repainting and fixing ablution and plumbing problems, leaking roofs and broken ceilings. The municipality is hopeful that the refurbished halls will see more people hiring the facilities, helping to generate more revenue for the municipality.

Tenders are to go out soon for contractors to carry out the road and hall repairs. The work is expected to be completed before the end of the current financial year.

uMngeni Ratepayers and Residents Association chairperson Mano Naidoo said R6 million was not enough to sort out the problem. However, he was grateful that the municipality had made a start and had taken cognisance of the public outcry over potholes.

• nalini@witness.co.za

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