Potholes are here to stay

2014-01-17 00:00

AS potholes continue to pockmark Pietermaritzburg, residents will have to make do with patch-up jobs, as there are limited funds in the current budget for the reconstruction of roads.

This became clear at the first Msunduzi Executive Committee (Exco) meeting yesterday, where a report on the state of the roads in Ashburton was discussed.

Exco was told that while it was viable to carry on doing pothole maintenance in some roads in the suburb, such repairs could no longer keep up or prolong the lifespan of Sandland, Kudu, Eland, Pollys and Nyala roads.

Deputy municipal manager for infrastructure, Thokozani Maseko, said money will be set aside in the next financial year for the reconstruction of roads.

DA Exco member Bill Lambert said he was worried about what would happen about the many other potholes in the city. He said that for a while there was a bit of reprieve with very few complaints, but it seems “the potholes are coming back to bite us”.

Lambert added that he counted 30 potholes in Henrietta Street alone and had heard of potholes in the city that were like volcanoes. “We cannot allow this scourge to develop; we must do something,” he said.

Maseko said that there was a pothole maintenance plan in place and that work had been halted over the festive period because suppliers had closed for the holidays. “We will be catching up,” he said.

The report on the state of the Ashburton roads said that the municipality’s Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and five-year capital draft budget included provision for road reconstruction.

Meanwhile, pothole patching is not sitting well with resident Janine Barkhuizen, who complained in this week’s Witness Warriors about Bonanza and Southview roads that were full of potholes. She said her complaint was published in The Witness on Monday and workers arrived to start work on Tuesday. “They are now patching all the potholes. Driving on the patched parts [nowhere near complete] is like sitting in a car on a jumping castle — we are bouncing along the road as if the springs in our car have been multiplied,” she said.

She said the foreman told her that the roads were “beyond patching and needed to be completely resurfaced”.

“Wonder if anyone with some authority from the municipality would try driving these roads in a car (not truck) and see and feel what’s happening — this is now a total waste of money,” Barkhuizen said.

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