Pothole gangs focus on Edendale

2013-08-12 00:00

AN Msunduzi municipal investigation into the state of the city’s roads paints a grave picture. The report says that most municipal roads are in dire need of overlaying and resurfacing.

Roads riddled with potholes and cracks were a result of the surface layer drying up. Just repairing the potholes was only an interim solution and in the long term major overlaying and re-surfacing needed to be carried out.

According to Bheki Sosibo of the infrastructure services department, who compiled the report, the road infrastructure in Greater Edendale was in the worst condition.

Sosibo said much damage had been caused by uncontrolled water spillage and usage — for example leaking standpipes, illegal water connections and the lack of waterborne sewerage systems. Sosibo said that due to severe damage on the Edendale Road, the council’s pothole gangs were spending more time fixing one road in that area.

He added that the department had a service charter that all dangerous road defects had to be prioritised and get repaired within 48 hours. Those assessed as minor defects and not posing a danger to motorists would be included in the maintenance programme list.

He said for a month they had resolved 41 out of 82 complaints. Their response rate had been higher in the previous month, but the roads department had challenges. Chief among these were the lack of staff and vehicles.

Sosibo said initially 15 trucks were allocated to the road unit. “These vehicles are now not reliable due to frequent breakdowns taking place almost every week and some of them cannot be repaired — 80% of these trucks are more than 20 years old,” he said.

For the past few years only three trucks had been made available for road repairs, he said. One was serving the entire Edendale area and the other two were dealing with the northern areas, the CBD and surrounding suburbs. “The unavailability of vehicles makes life very difficult for this unit to respond to the number of complaints received,” he said.

For the roads section to be effective in terms of attending to the pothole programme, at least six trucks in total were needed, said Sosibo, adding that there was also a 75% vacancy rate in the unit that was required to handle hot asphalt, heavy compaction equipment and traffic control.

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