Potholes and buckled rims

2011-01-07 00:00

MORE vehicles are being damaged every day by the ever deepening and widening potholes on roads in and around Pietermaritzburg, say several tyre dealers in the city who say the situation appears to be worsening.

Denzil Naidoo of Super Tyres said more and more motorists have been bringing their vehicles for tyre repairs, especially over the last month.

His technicians regularly fit new tyres and attend to cracked rims and wheel alignment due to damage caused to vehicles driving over potholes.

“I personally suffered damage after driving over a pothole on Saturday. I didn’t see it, especially in the dark, and I had to fit a new tyre,” he said.

Naidoo said that on average, his firm deals with one or two such cases each day.

“It’s good business for us, but it’s a problem that is not being addressed,” he said.

Darryl Louch of Tiger Wheel and Tyre agreed with Naidoo.

He said that on average, two or three people arrive at his tyre fitment service every day needing repairs after driving over potholes. This is a noteworthy increase, said Louch, considering that 18 months ago they would deal with two or three such customers a week.

He said that in some cases, they have had to straighten buckled wheel rims besides replacing or repairing damaged tyres.

Louch said that in his experience, all potholes pose a danger to vehicles. “It doesn’t mean that suburban roads are better.”

Asked if he had any incidents of pothole-damaged vehicles to report, Krishan Singh of Mr Ex-haust Mr Tyre said: “Plenty, plenty, plenty.”

An average of two or three customers come to his workshop every day after suffering pothole damage.

“It’s getting worse compared to a year ago,” he said.

At the last full council meeting of Msunduzi Municipality a fortnight ago, intervention team member Ben Dorfling admitted there were problems with city road projects and that the council will have to come up with a practical solution in January once its year-end recess comes to a close.

Automobile Association spokesperson Gary Ronald said in a statement yesterday that many of the country’s roads are in danger of becoming irreparable.

“Vast portions of South Africa’s road network are in danger of becoming so badly damaged that they will no longer be able to be repaired, and the government will be forced to reconstruct them.”

He said R100 billion is needed to eradicate maintenance backlogs on national roads.

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