Sani Pass road repairs under way at last

2009-03-05 00:00

The KZN Transport Department has finally decided to tackle the wash-aways on the Sani Pass road.

A tracked excavator and a grader arrived on site this week to work on drainage and other problem areas along the road, which is the most convenient route into Lesotho from southern KwaZulu-Natal.

“We’re happy,” said Derek Alberts, owner of Molumong Lodge in Lesotho.

But Alberts emphasised that the road needs more than just a quick fix.

“If it’s just a temporary solution, it will wash away again,” he added. “They need to send up a team and give the road a proper servicing.”

On Monday, The Witness published images of the run-down road. The damage caused by the recent heavy rains is so bad some holes are 1,5 metres deep.

The department said many roads have been damaged by the rain and promised that it will attend to them all, despite budget constraints.

“This [financial situation] has not helped our efforts at this very demanding time for our road network.

“However, the region is again taking on [equipment] to address all the problem areas,” said spokewoman Nonkululeko Mbatha.

Meanwhile, department representatives met on Wednesday with Balgowan residents who are unhappy about the state of the roads in the area, particularly the D533.

The Witness reported on Tuesday that this road is muddy and impassable.

Residents in the area are sometimes forced to park about a kilometre from their farms and walk home (even at night and in stormy weather).

According to Gregory Williams, one of the farm owners, the department assured them that by the end of next week, the road will be in a drivable condition, and that by the end of the month proper drainage and a road re-surfacing will be completed.

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