Road painters on a five-litres-a-day go-slow for their own safety

2014-07-01 00:00

IF the road markings in your neighbourhood are a bit faded, there is a reason: the workers responsible for repainting them are on a “go slow”.

Road markers from the Msunduzi Municipality’s transport section have been on go slow for almost two months, and are now threatening to go on strike unless their acting manager is removed.

They accuse the manager of poor planning, resulting in them working on dangerous and busy parts of roads where they have to avoid being killed by cars and have to take abuse from motorists angry with the traffic jams caused by their work.

“We paint the roads, and because we sometimes paint some of the busy roads, causing traffic jams, we have to swallow insults daily from motorists who accuse us of poor planning.

“They tell us we are painting on busy days like Fridays and we have no common sense.”

A source said some of the workers were recently nearly run over by trucks while painting Old Greytown Road in the vicinity of Copesville.

“That is a dangerous road with many heavy duty vehicles and bends.

“Before we went there, we informed our manager that we needed traffic officers to be there so they could control the motorists, but the traffic officers never arrived.”

The worker said cars sped down the road while others drove over the wet paint, and they found themselves having to jump out of the way to save their lives.

A source said the workers, whose numbers had dwindled, were now on a go slow. “The section previously had more than 60 people working in teams of 12; now there are 33 people working in teams of four and five.

“Each team would normally use 30 to 60 litres of paint in a day, but since we have been on the go slow, each team just uses five litres and we are done for the day.”

Another source said the manager of the unit was also not qualified for the position, resulting in the poor planning.

Municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said the management was addressing the issue.

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