‘We will close the road if work does not continue’ — protesters

2019-06-05 06:00
Community members protest in Ward 2 on Tuesday.

Community members protest in Ward 2 on Tuesday.

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ANGRY Sweetwaters residents under Ward 2 blocked Mabina Road with burning tyres and stones on Monday as they demanded that upgrades on the road be completed.

Residents say the municipality dug up the road with the intention to upgrade it last year but the upgrade never happened.

Speaking to Echo, one resident who did not want to be named, said Msunduzi Municipality introduced the project to them early last year.

The upgrade started but was never completed.

“This road was a tar road before but now it is gravel with stones.

“The municipality said that they will upgrade it for us and introduced the contractor.

[They] started excavating the road but eventually stopped.”

“Community members use this road to access the local clinic but now it has become dangerous. A person using a wheelchair is now unable to use this road when he/she is going to the clinic as they fear that they will fall due to the state of the road.

“Car tyres get damaged everyday and not so long ago an old lady fell out her wheelchair while she was going to the clinic. This shows that it is no longer safe and something needs to be done urgently,” she said.

Another resident, Lungisani Ngubane, said they want to know why the contractor stopped working on the road: “The fact that the project was approved and contractor was appointed means that there was a budget for this project.

“We want to know what happened. If the municipality is having problems, why do they not come back and report to us that they still having problems and give us a way forward?”

Mbongeni Ndaba said they will not back off until the upgrade has been done and finished.

Protesters said they have tried to get answers from Ward Councillor Sbusiso Mtshali but he also did not give them a clear explanation as to why the contractor left the site.

The protesters demanded that Msunduzi Mayor Themba Njilo address them regarding the issue.

Njilo said the municipality have been having problems regarding this project, however, those issues have been resolved.

“We have met with the contractor that was doing the road and we have agreed that they will start with the construction next week Tuesday.

“This project was already in the process of commencing since we were trying to resolve the issues,” he said.

The community vowed that if the project does not commence on Tuesday next week, they will close all the roads in the area on Wednesday.

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