Article sparks whole new row on holes

2013-04-03 00:00

“NOT guilty,” says the Msunduzi Municipality.

It was not a council hole that swallowed the car featured on The Witness front page yesterday, said Msunduzi spokesperson Brian Zuma.

He was reacting to reports that the car fell into a four-metre deep ditch dug in February and left uncovered and unattended since then.

Zuma said the ditch was in fact dug by Group Five, the construction company building the Chota Motala Road bypass. However, the front page article sparked a litany of complaints from residents across the city about holes dug by the municipality for repair work and then not covered up after the jobs were done.

Meanwhile, Group Five said that the trench was dug by a sub-contractor who did a “water tie in”.

Group Five site manager Bradley Naidoo said he had contacted the sub-contractor, who was in the process of doing an investigation.

Naidoo said he would respond today as to why the ditch was left uncovered once he received the investigation report. He added, however, that he had been told that the trench had been barricaded as per normal practice, but that the barricades had allegedly been constantly removed.

The young men injured in the accident were recovering yesterday, but were still in a state of shock. The owner of the car, Spha Xaba, said he would definitely pursue compensation with whoever was responsible for leaving the hole uncovered and without any warning tape around it.

After reading the article, Rodney Davidson called The Witness to complain about a ditch dug in Hesketh Drive two weeks ago by the Electricity Department, and left gaping.

Davidson said he has lost count of the number of calls he had made to the municipality to warn them of the danger of the situation, but to date no effort has been made to cover up the hole. “When the municipality first arrived we were told that they were there to uncover a cable.

“The cable was uncovered, but no one pitched up to fix it and we are left with this dug-up hole,” he said.

Across the city in Wylie Park, Doug Morton said he had been trying for a while to get anyone at the municipality interested in rectifying uncovered ditches. These were left after a series of repairs to bursts in a water pipeline.

Morton said a two-metre-deep trench was left next to his property, resulting in his fence being on the verge of collapsing and his security compromised. “I can find no one who is prepared to talk about the problem and now that the water supply has been diverted and this pipeline is now dead, there is no one interested in correcting the situation.

Zuma said both matters were receiving attention.

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