Contractors need to cover up

2014-11-10 00:00

Trenches: shoddy work

Nobody wants to stand in the way of progress and residents have generally been patient over the trenches being dug up to lay broadband and other cables.

However this tolerance is wearing thin as piles of rubble are left lying around for weeks and trenches are poorly covered up.

Recently residents on Baijoo Road in Raisethorpe were also left without water and electricity as diggers struck first a water pipe and then an electricity cable.

Over the past weeks, Warriors has been fielding questions as to why the diggers don’t seem to have maps indicating municipal servitudes. Residents have also questioned the lack of supervision and with the current rainy weather they want the municipality to be more pro-active in ensuring that Msunduzi is not left in a muddy mess.

Municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said the Roads and Transportation Unit was currently working on sorting out the situation.

A recent court case in which the municipality was embroiled in, made it clear that companies laying out broadband cables under the Communications Act did not have to get permission from the municipality to dig up the city.

However, Mafumbatha said they were engaging with the big contractors — 3core, MCT, Link Africa, Neotel, and DFA — to ensure that roads and sidewalks that are dug up are properly recovered with tar, pavement slabs or grass.

“We are in the process of doing monthly progress report with all the Contractors and the response so far has been positive. The situation is also being monitored. However there are still challenges with some of the work,” she said.

Resident who want to report tardy work in this regard can contact the roads section’s call centre on 033 392 2955 or e-mail: erick.tshikudo@msunduzi.gov.za.

Tshikudo is the Quality Monitoring Engineer in the Roads and Transportation unit.

Anticipated road congestion

Residents living in the Northern Suburbs have noted with concern the road works at the new Brookside Mall, where a traffic circle is being constructed at the bottom end of Manning Avenue before the intersection with Masukwana Street.

A concerned motorist wrote: “Manning Avenue carries a high volume of traffic to and from the Northern Suburbs and the construction of an access into the new mall will result in congestion during peak periods. It would appear that the municipality has ignored proper road design methodology, as the access is around a sharp bend of a narrow road with poor visibility.”

There has been several accidents in this vicinity and the situation will be further exacerbated by this development.

The municipality responds:” A traffic impact study was undertaken for the Brookside Mall development.

“The analysis of the current and five years projection of the traffic volumes confirmed that Manning Avenue will have adequate capacity to accommodate the additional traffic volumes to be generated by this development.

“In addition, a New Link Road between Manning Avenue and Church Street is also being constructed, this link road will provide access to the mall from both directions and also relieve traffic congestion at Masukwana Street between Manning Avenue and Church Street, as motorists from the Northern Suburbs will have an alternative route when travelling to the CBD.

“Analysis and the designs that were undertaken confirmed that the traffic circle was the best option compared to the normal intersection, as it will also serve as a traffic calming measure in that section of the road.”

Plant thieves

The municipality is finding its attempts to beautify the city being thwarted by plant thieves.

Less than two weeks after shrubs and flowers were planted, a lot of the flora were stolen from the traffic islands at the corner of Manchester and Dr Chota Motala Road as well as on the corner of Khan and Springvale roads.

No wonder Mayor Chris Ndlela calls us a lawless city.

Broken cemetery wall

Residents in Chetty Road, Northdale and surrounding areas have become sitting ducks for thieves who scale through the broken cemetery wall.

They loot properties and then escape via the graveyard. One house was broken into twice, with copper water pipes and other items stolen.

A resident who did not want to be named said that his insurance company paid up the first time, now they are refusing to pay as the wall has not been repaired.

He complained to the municipality and all that was done was that a grader was used to push up the broken wall, which is now propped up with a pole, leaving gaps for the thieves, who continue to have a field day. Recently a women walking on Chetty Road was attacked and her cellphone stolen.

Fed-up residents said they have complained to councillors and the municipality, but so far nothing has been done.

Warriors contacted Community Services Portfolio Committee chairperson, Councillor Manilal Inderjith, who undertook to carry out an inspection of the wall and arrange for the repairs to be carried out. Inderjith has been involved with the Msunduzi Crematorium and Cemeteries Concerned Citizens Committee (MCCCC) to sort out problems at the Mountain Rise cemetery.

Thank you

The Downtown Steering Committee thanks the municipality for stepping up traffic control in their area and imposing fines on errant drivers.

However, some businesses appear to be carrying on with impunity and are still using Hoosen Haffejee (Berg) Street as their personal loading zones just days after the front page exposé in The Witness of forklift trucks causing mayhem downtown.

Here’s hoping the Traffic Department keeps up its work to clean up the downtown area and bring back law and order.

Speaker”s number

Council Speaker Babu Baijoo asks the public to contact his office by using the number that goes directly to his secretary: 033-3922541.

He said the number provided in the Witness’s Warriors column last week, was that of an official in his unit, who was often out on field work.

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