‘Close, or tar Connor Road’

2018-10-22 16:58
Dust from a long and winding dirt road in Chase Valley is causing problems to residents of nearby houses. Pictured is resident Mansingh Singh.

Dust from a long and winding dirt road in Chase Valley is causing problems to residents of nearby houses. Pictured is resident Mansingh Singh. (Kerushun Pillay)

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A long and winding dirt road that runs from Chase Valley to Woodlands is causing plumes of thick, black dust to cover nearby houses, and disgruntled residents are seeking legal advice on the matter.

The dirt road, which is an extension of Connor Road, Chase Valley, is a back road which sees high traffic volumes as people take this shortcut to the Cascades and Liberty malls from Claridge, Woodlands, and Otto’s Bluff. The constant traffic causes dust from the road to fly into properties.

The road snakes up into the high hills behind homes on Connor Road, causing “clouds of dust” to blow onto houses.

Braai sets, cars, plants, windowsills, roofs, clothing on washlines, and swimming pools are all covered in thick black dust.

The area where the dirt road begins is lined with a dense forest of tall trees, and had previously been used by the Department of Forestries to access the plantations.

Residents have posted a plea to passing motorists.

Residents said Msunduzi widened it and opened it as a road about seven years ago, after the department stopped using it.

“It’s not pleasant, we are living like prisoners, unable to open doors or windows,” said Mansingh Singh, a resident of five years.

Singh said residents are calling for a complete closure of the road until Msunduzi can provide a solution, like tarring the road, adding that the constant dust made residents sick.

“We have tried to talk to the municipality many times, but we get no joy. [Officials] have told us they have no authority to shut down the road. Sometimes they refer us to other departments. The municipality can provide a route, but not at the expense of our health.”

He said the community were at their wits’ end, and one resident had spoken to his lawyer about possibly interdicting motorists from using the road.

“We are also thinking about protesting. We don’t want to go that route, but we will do what needs to be done to get their attention.”

Singh added that the road also posed a danger. “There’s no speed limit signs, and it’s unclear whether it is a one-way or two-way road.

“There are many accidents on this road, and a car can easily veer off the road and into someone’s house.”

Msunduzi spokesperson Ntobeko Ngcobo said the City was in “direct communication” with residents about the issue.

“We are busy with the necessary applications for the project to be approved and for funding to be made available.

“We appeal to the members of the public to be patient while this process unfolds. We will ensure that we update them through the respective ward councillor,” she said.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  dirt roads

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