Township’s only access road a no-go, says residents

2013-02-19 00:00

FOR 60 years, Boy Khanyile has had to put up with the deteriorating gravel road in kwaGcabashe township in Caluza.

“Living on a gravel road has challenges in all seasons. Councillors come and go, but nothing changes,” said Khanyile.

The road is the only access to the township. In winter it becomes dusty and during the rainy season the residents cannot drive their cars along it because it becomes too muddy.

Khanyile (71) said the community was suffering as a result of poor service delivery.

“Our rubbish is not collected by the municipal trucks because they say our road is too bad for the truck to travel on, so we have to walk more than 100 metres just to drop our waste off on the main road.”

When residents fell seriously ill, the ambulance could not drive to their homes.

“We don’t know why the municipality is failing to provide us with tarred roads just like other voting residents in the neighbourhood, and we have been complaining about this for years,” Khanyile said.

Another resident, Thuba Ngcobo, said: “Currently the area has a gravel road with deep crevices, potholes and massive overgrown verges.”

He said this had caused the road to narrow over the years to a point where it could only accommodate one car in any direction at a time.

The road was often riddled with deep trenches caused by stormwater and was muddy, and it was difficult to navigate by car.

Ngcobo said that in December 2012, when the family held a funeral, the condition of the road was so bad that the family had to source gravel to fill potholes along an entire stretch.

He said many times people took it upon themselves to fix the road.

“This trend seems set to continue unless someone can take ownership to help resolve the issue,” said Ngcobo.

Said Ward 20 councillor Thulani Xulu: “This worries me too because 90% of our ward has gravel roads.”

He said that when he became the councillor for the area, he called for the establishment of area committees so he could find out what people needed to be done to develop the area.

“We submitted a list of our problems to the municipality, including the road, but in 2011 the council was in financial constraints, so we understood.”

He said that early next month the municipality would roll out a gravel road maintenance programme in Ward 20.

“We are appealing to the municipality to tar some of these roads, if they have any surplus on their budget,” he said.

Said Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Brian Zuma: “The gravel road was damaged by a leaking reservoir in the area and they will be fixing that this week.”

The road was not part of the integrated development programme in this financial year and would not therefore be tarred, Zuma added, but it was part of the maintenance plan.

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