New speed humps trashed

2010-10-26 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG taxi operators allegedly removed newly laid speed humps at the top of Sweetwaters Road yesterday.

An anonymous caller told The Witness that some occupants of a fleet of minibus taxis parked on the hill towards Sweetwaters were removing the tarred humps while they were still wet.

A resident in Joseph Chamberlain Road said they drafted a petition early this year asking for speed humps to curb the high accident rate on the road.

“This road is steep and the area can be misty at certain periods of the year. It has bends and going up is a mission, while vehicles driving down are causing havoc.

“Some drivers are so reckless that we had to sign a petition asking for these humps.

“Driving down Joseph Chamberlain to join the main road [Sweetwaters] is a risk because other motorists drive at high speed from the top down towards town,” said the resident.

On the way to the area this reporter met a convoy of seven minibus taxis speeding along the road towards town.

Community leader Dolo Zondi said taxi owners were not consulted before the humps were laid.

He said the municipality is acting autocratically and that it has angered members of the taxi industry.

The deputy manager for roads infrastructure, Blake McKenzie, said residents of the area had requested the humps because of the high accident rate on Sweetwaters Road.

“Thousands of rands have been paid to a private company to do the job to minimise accidents on this road. That money has gone down the drain and the department has to pay the company to re-do the humps,” said McKenzie.

He said a meeting will be arranged between taxi operators and the department to discuss ways of solving the matter.

Msunduzi Regional Taxi Council spokesperson Boy Zondi said he had not heard about the incident.

He said there has been resistance to the laying of the speed humps, especially on the Sweetwaters Road.

“The humps on that road damage our vehicles.

“My taxi operates between town and Sweetwaters 30 times a day and the damage caused by these humps is unbearable.

“The government doesn’t compensate us for the damage,” said Zondi.

He said taxi operators are opposed to speeding and that the accident rate in the area is a cause for concern, but the matter cannot be resolved at the expense of the operators and owners.

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