College road crater: local motorist files for damages after hitting pothole

2011-04-12 00:00

LOCAL motorist Riccardo Moodley has filed for financial compensation with Msunduzi Municipality after his car was damaged when he hit a pothole in College Road on the night of April 3.

The pothole tore open both tyres on the driver’s side and broke the wheel rims in half.

Several callers complained to The Witness about the pothole at the time.

When Moodley approached the municipality for reimbursement for the damage caused to his vehicle, he was told to send a written complaint as well as photographs of the damage and three quotes to have it repaired. This had to occur within seven days, he was told.

Once he had submitted this information, he was told to wait while the municipality established if it was liable for the damage.

Moodley could be waiting for at least a month.

Municipal spokesperson Brian Zuma says the municipality deals with all claims in accordance with the Institution of Legal Proceedings Against Certain Organs of State Act No. 40 of 2002.

Said Zuma, “In terms of the act, the claimant must serve a letter of demand on the municipality within six months from the date of the loss and set out the facts which gave rise to the loss.

“The act grants the municipality a period of 30 days to investigate the claim.”

A decision is made once all the facts are gathered and each claim is dealt with separately, he added.

“The law is applied to each established set of facts and a decision is then made whether or not to accept liability [either wholly or partially] or to reject the claim,” Zuma added.

Meanwhile, Moodley has been forced to hire a car at his own expense in order to run his business.

He said he is just one of the motorists whose car was taken off the road because of the pothole.

Another motorist whose wheel was damaged by the same pothole says he estimates that 30 drivers were forced to pull over after going through the pothole last Sunday. The pothole has since been filled with sand to prevent further damage.

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