Bumpy ride for industry

2010-07-27 00:00

SOME Mkondeni industrialists are finding it difficult to ply their trade because of the shocking state of the roads in that area.

Ward councillor Rodger Ashe said he is concerned about the poor state of Thomas Watkins, Lester Brown and Walter Hall roads in Mkondeni as they are the main roads to many industrial sites in the area.

He said businesses are paying industrial rates, but are finding it impossible to conduct their trade efficiently because when it rains, these roads become impassable and traffic in the area is brought to a standstill.

“Bogged-down heavy-duty vehicles have taken up to six hours to be moved. There have also been residents in the area who have been totally blocked off at night and unable to leave the area for health emergencies,” he said.

Ashe said industrialists should not have to continue paying rates when they are not able to carry out their trade in a satisfactory manner because of the municipality’s poor infrastructure.

“Industry provides much-needed jobs in the city and I believe that we need to source grant funding, if necessary, to upgrade [these roads] as a matter of urgency and [I] have conveyed this request to the officials concerned,” he said.

Ashe said he understands that the municipality is struggling financially, but the roads should not have been ripped up to begin with.

He added that industrialists play an important part in the economy of the city so the municipality needs to make sure it provides them with the services they pay for.

Marketing and communications manager Brian Zuma said it is no longer cost-effective to continue patching potholes that keep occurring on those roads.

That is why the tar was removed and the link roads were converted into gravel roads “for the purpose of cost-effective maintenance”, said Zuma.

He said the roads in question were then put on the maintenance programme that was subsequently delayed because of the municipality’s financial constraints.

“There are many projects that have been affected by the unfortunate circumstances we find ourselves in. As soon as there is an improvement with our cash flow, work on affected projects will resume.

“We regret the inconvenience caused to all who are affected by our situation,” said Zuma.

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