Otto’s Bluff road a mud trap in the wet

2017-05-17 13:30
Otto’s Bluff Road residents Jayjay Jordaan (left) and Stanley Solomon are some of the residents concerned about the condition of the road.

Otto’s Bluff Road residents Jayjay Jordaan (left) and Stanley Solomon are some of the residents concerned about the condition of the road. (Ian Carbutt)

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Residents living along Otto’s Bluff Road are concerned that the muddy state of the road and the many potholes are placing their lives in danger and hurting business.

The recent rainfall has left the road a “muddy mess”, they said.

Concerned resident Jayjay Jordaan told The Witness that the “muddy and slippery nature of the road”, whenever it rains, makes it difficult for residents to drive safely and freely to their destinations.

“This is one of Pietermaritzburg’s busiest dirt roads. Just this morning [Tuesday] I helped pull out two cars that had been stuck in the mud.

“We have lodges, B&Bs and people’s homes along this road, meaning if it rains people cannot go to work and children can’t go to school,” said Jordaan.

Jordaan said the residents in the area have tried everything, from sending e-mails to making phonecalls to get authorities to intervene.

“In the 25 years residing here I have witnessed about 12 people dying in car accidents on this road. On a rainy day in November last year I pulled out 11 cars that had been stuck in the mud,” he said.

Road Traffic Inspectorate spokesperson Zinhle Mngomezulu said she had conveyed the query seeking answers about Otto’s Bluff Road to relevant people and could not provide further comment until she got feedback from them.

Mike Guy, also a resident in the area, said they have contacted the province’s Transport Department to ask for help, but their pleas are ignored.

Guy said on some occasions they have had graders come and level the road with shale but this was a temporary fix.

“They only provided short-term relief that has since been worn away.

“This is just a bad road. It has been like this for many years and no one cares. Big bakkies get stuck in the mud and we have seen so many accidents here,” he said.

Guy said the shale used to level the road damages their cars.

“The stones make it more dangerous because they damage our tyres and smash our windscreens.

“We want a permanent solution, someone needs to take responsibility and make sure the road is sorted out,” said Guy.

Stanely Solomon (70), who has lived in the area all his life, said the road has always been like this.

Audrey Claassen said she has had her bakkie stuck on the muddy road on numerous occasions.

Charmaine Gayson from Kwela Lodge, located along Otto’s Bluff, said on rainy days she has to tell her potential guests about the muddy road before they make reservations resulting in many of them opting to book somewhere else.

“We have had some of our guests getting stuck along the way to the lodge and we have to go help pull them out. This is a very busy road and it makes no sense as to why it is still in such a bad condition,” said Gayson.

Jordaan said in their quest to make their road more driveable, through their resources have been able to partially fill up some potholes, but this only lasts a short while.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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