Kloof CPF plan to march in PMB over M13 trucks

2014-01-24 00:00

THE Kloof Community Policing Forum is planning to stage a march in Pietermaritzburg to protest against the continued use of Field’s Hill by trucks weighing more than 16 tons.

Corné Broodryk, the forum spokesperson, said the Department of Transport lacked the manpower to restrict the trucks from travelling on the M13 near Pinetown.

Transport MEC Willies Mchunu announced plans to restrict the number of heavy-duty trucks on Field’s Hill following a horror accident that claimed 24 lives in September. Swaziland truck driver Sanele May is currently behind bars and awaiting trial.

Last year, Mchunu said the existing carrying capacity of trucks passing down Field’s Hill would be reduced from 25 tons to 16 tons.

He said 16-ton trucks would be restricted from using Field’s Hill from 6 am to 9 am on the eastbound carriageway; trucks would be restricted from using the route in both directions from 4 pm to 6.30 pm.

Long-term measures would see the building of an additional lane on Field’s Hill, the introduction of concrete barriers along the route, streetlights and an improvement of on- and off-ramps.

Broodryk said the restrictive measures were not working and a march to Mchunu’s office in Pietermaritzburg was being planned.

“There is no reason for heavy trucks to be there. We photograph heavy trucks about four times a week,” he added.

“It’s going to take another death for them to catch a wake-up.”

He said traffic officers could be seen on the M13 but they are not there seven days a week.

DA ward councillor Rick Crouch said there had always been restrictions but what was new was that the department had extended the times.

He believed this would not help and they had been asking for trucks to be banned completely.

“The M13 was never built for trucks and it costs lots of money to repair the road more frequently,” Crouch added.

Crouch accused the department of ignoring the report that was issued in 2009 warning about the dangers on Field’s Hill, which was compiled by former Pinetown DA ward councillor Warwick Chapman, together with officials from the KZN Department of Transport and businesspeople. “If they didn’t listen to their own people why would they listen to us? I call it tombstone legislation because they are waiting for more people do die before they can do something.”

The department was not available to comment.

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