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Vanderbijlpark: A safety hazard

13 September 2012, 07:40

This article must not be seen in the light of myself fiddling in the affairs of other towns and locations. The aim of this article is to rather hilight the short-comings of the municipality in question and for safety reasons.     

Recently I had the opportunity to spend a week in Vanderbijlpark. I noticed an abnormal shortage of covers on many of the water meter manholes   The manholes were left open and many are fairly deep and act as a sure-fire method exposing young children and elderly persons to serious leg and ankle injuries. In one area in Koos De La Rey street 18 missing covers were counted.  That is only the tip of the Iceberg. The covers are cast steel,  square in shape and can be fairly easily  stolen. Just the twist of two screw drivers. As far as I could discern there were no prominent markers on the covers to identify the municipality concerned and thus a boon to thieves and scrap-yards.    

The solution is fairly simple and cheap to boot: The covers should be made of re-enforced concrete and supported by steel re-enforcing bars, cast into an Angle-iron external frame. The additional re-enforcing  is to make allowances to support motor vehicles parking on the covers.    

A further observation in a different area indicated that 95% of the man hole covers are missing.  One of the local theories is the covers are not stolen and sold to scrap-yards but to contractors. The problem here is that the steel frame remains fixed to the concrete structure of the manhole. The contractor would have to fabricate a support frame for every manhole cover.     The ultimate solution would be to have all newly manufactured covers marked in the manufacturing process with the logo of the municipality in question and a prohibition placed on the resale of these covers.    

Another theory is the covers, being made of Cast steel and therefore brittle,  are hammered into smaller bits then sold to scrap yards.    

Vanderbijlpark Is one of those cities which leave one with ambivalent emotions. It has everything found in other towns and cities but with small variations which are amplified by just the existence of the city. A curiosity is very many motor-cycles race up and down the narrow streets and  many seem to lack the presence of an exhaust pipe;  Very many motor cars seem to share this ailment too.    

Other than that Vanderbijlpark is still a lekker place to stay.
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