HCM roads way over lifespan

2012-11-30 00:00

THE problem is even bigger than the potholes.

That’s the frank admission by the Hibiscus Coast Municipality, who have laid out their plan of action to deal with potholes within their borders.

This as residents and businesspeople complained that, despite a team working on potholes in Commercial Road, the road remains pocked with many potholes.

Owner of Venture Inn Liquor Store, Shane Naidu, said: “They came the day after your article in The Witness, and some workers fiddled with patching a few holes and went away. And that’s the last I saw of them. Meanwhile, the road is chasing my customers away.”

When Hibiscus Coast Municipality was again this week asked to comment on the pothole situation, municipal manager Sbu Mkhize offered an apology for the state the roads are in.

“We regret this situation unreservedly.”

He said potholes “seem to appear each day” on both tar and gravel roads, and admitted that their response rate was “far from being sufficient”.

He said the situation had been widely discussed, but the majority of the roads within the municipality were not designed to carry the load and volume they carry.

“Most of our roads are simply black top with no firm structure beneath. The majority of these roads have long passed their lifespan.” He said the pace of the emergence of potholes requires additional financial and personnel resources from council.

He said fixing potholes was just a short term measure and that a detailed paving and maintenance plan was required.

“The weather pattern is not assisting either,” he added.

Mkhize added that although it may appear that the municipality was doing nothing about the situation, “nothing could be further from the truth”. He said they had increased their capacity by going to the private sector for extra hands and had allocated extra funds for the 2012/13 financial year.

“We have an all-inclusive special team that meet bi-weekly to deliberate on the roads infrastructure programme.”

He said that the only sustainable solution is to rehabilitate the entire road infrastructure. “The difference can be seen for roads recently rehabilitated through the 2008 disaster funding.”

He said that the municipality was searching for government grants to use to do the work.

He said if all else failed, council would try to secure a loan to undertake the work that needed to be done.

Meanwhile, they had “topped up the potholes 2012/13 budget by a further 50%” and added two more external contractors to help them catch up with the backlog.

Remedial work would continue, weather permitting, seven days a week.

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