City’s pothole plight

2017-02-15 10:07
One of the concerned residents of Clift Place in Sweetwaters, Jackie Younghusband, is pleading with the uMngeni Municipality to fix potholes on Joseph Chamberlain Road, which she says have not been fixed for several years.

One of the concerned residents of Clift Place in Sweetwaters, Jackie Younghusband, is pleading with the uMngeni Municipality to fix potholes on Joseph Chamberlain Road, which she says have not been fixed for several years. (Ian Carbutt)

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Heavy downpours over the past few days have worsened the plight of residents who have to negotiate major potholes to get to their homes in two suburbs in the city.

At Mckay Drive in Ashburton, residents asked when subcontractors would return to resurface the road they stripped last year.

Mckay Drive leads from the off-ramp from the highway and is a busy road in and out of Ashburton. Work on the road started in April last year, but did not continue in the past three weeks.

The tar of Mckay Drive was stripped off, leaving the road muddy and slippery after any rain.

Msunduzi Municipality said it was not sure when the work on the road would resume. A resident who asked not to be named and who has lived in the area for the past 16 years, said the construction had problems since it started.

“They used to start and stop. We heard it was related to payment issues. In December last year, no one worked and they only came back for two weeks last month, but have since stopped.

“We don’t know what’s happening. No one informed us about the process being halted. Our vehicles have been damaged,” she said.

Municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said the construction of the road was subcontracted to a service provider. “The process was halted due to some technicalities, which are being resolved. That’s all we can say at this stage.” She added the city was busy with pothole repairs daily, but said heavy downpours posed a major challenge.

In Sweetwaters, meanwhile, Monday night’s heavy rains caused more problems for the municipality’s pothole repair team. The Witness visited Clift Place after receiving several complaints over deepening potholes in Joseph Chamberlain Road, Ridge Close and Johnson Lane in Sweetwaters.

Jackie Younghusband has lived in the area for the past 30 years and she said this has been an ongoing problem for years. “The meter reader cannot get to me to read the meter. I tell friends and family not to visit me. There have been so many reports of damage to cars, which costs commuters thousands to fix. There are letters from different residents pleading for help. All we want is our place to be a better place,” said Younghusband.

uMngeni Municipality spokesperson Thando Mgaga said they were using service providers to repair potholes in various areas. “The municipality, through the re-adjustment budget, has set out funds to resurface roads. The roads that will be resurfaced have been identified and the identification criteria include the severity of the damages on the roads and the traffic volumes. The identified roads have been assessed through the uMngeni Municipality pavement management system,”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  potholes

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