Pothole peril

2009-01-28 00:00

A woman is suing KwaZulu-Natal for R1,1 million: she was injured in a 2004 taxi accident allegedly caused by a large pothole on the R33 between Keats Drift and Tugela Ferry: her injuries resulted in the amputation of an arm.

It is alleged on her behalf that provincial employees responsible for the upkeep of roads had negligently failed to keep the R33 in a safe condition, they had not inspected it regularly, they had not erected warning signs and they had neither repaired the road nor closed dangerous sections of it pending repair. The province answers the charges by pleading, in effect, that it hadn’t the money to spend on road maintenance.

It will be interesting to see how the case develops. It’s by no means the first of its kind, and if the surfaces of our roads continue to deteriorate unchecked, it certainly won’t be the last. Potholes are dangerous: they can damage vehicles and send them out of control, and, also, hasty attempts by motorists to avoid them may imperil other road users. How many more serious injuries, even deaths, caused by disintegrating road surfaces, will it take for corrective action to be taken?

The province may argue that some responsibility — vigilance and cautious driving — lies with the motorist. True, but there’s little or nothing any driver can do about road main-tenance infrastructure that is blatantly in a state of meltdown. Those people who are paid to do the job aren’t doing it — nor are they being held accountable. Why haven’t the culprits been identified and sternly dealt with?

And the argument that funds are short is unacceptable. If there is indeed a shortfall, the reasons must be investigated and the matter rectified. There is no alternative to regular maintenance.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.