Pothole fixing drive stalls

2019-11-18 16:57
A widening hole in the intersection of Jacaranda and Teak roads in Woodlands.

A widening hole in the intersection of Jacaranda and Teak roads in Woodlands.

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The services of the city’s pothole busters have crashed because Msunduzi Municipality has not given new purchase order numbers to Pro-Phalt, the company it contracted in February to solve the Maritzburg’s pothole problem.

To-date, Pro-Halt has filled about 12 000 potholes in Msunduzi, but thousands more need filling and with the heavy rains of the past weeks new ones are appearing all over the city.

Gerard Lowe, site manager of Pro-Phalt, said the company is waiting for Msunduzi to issue new purchase order numbers so they can proceed.

“We have been trying to get feedback from the municipality and we have not received anything concrete.

“We were told the municipality is still trying to source money. We cannot do any work until we get a purchase order number to go ahead and continue with fixing potholes,” added Lowe.

He said that since February 11, Pro-Phalt has filled about 12 000 square metres, or one pothole per square metre.

It normally takes about 15 minutes to fix a pothole, and the team use specialised equipment and methods.

“When we fix potholes, there is a one-year guarantee on the work. If that pothole opens up before the one year is up, we will come and fix the pothole at our own expense,” he added.

Lowe said recent inspections showed that the rainy weather has worsened the already deep potholes on several roads in the city.

“After the rain, the ones that were about R5 size, will probably be huge. If potholes are not sealed before the rain comes, they open up and become worse,” he explained.

Municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said the contract with Pro-Phalt is on an “as and when required” basis and that the purchase order will be issued once the need arises.

She added that the City is repairing potholes using internal teams.

The Witness continues to be inundated with complaints from residents regarding the dilapidated state of roads in the city.

A Northdale resident living on Veerappa Road said a pothole in the middle of the busy road has led to nine accidents in the past two months.

“Nearly three months have gone by. We are still trying to get authorities to give the pothole their attention,” said Rookmoney Naicker.

She added that she had spent about R19 000 repairing her front gate after it was damaged following a hit-and-run accident in October. The motorist reportedly hit the pothole and crashed into the gate. “Our gate has been knocked twice. The first time it was completely damaged, and we had to replace it. The second time, the gate was left damaged and the car knocked down our boundary wall ...” she said.

Efforts to get the municipality to repair the pothole had fallen on deaf ears, she added. “The municipality must fix this pothole and also erect speedhumps. This is a very busy road and we don’t feel safe. Not long ago, my son-in-law was parked opposite our gate and another vehicle hit the pothole and damaged his car.

“We cannot continue to incur unnecessary costs to repair our badly damaged vehicles when the municipality is failing to repair the pothole.”

Another resident, who asked to remain unnamed, said he recently spent about R12 000 getting his vehicle repaired after hitting a pothole in Willowton Road. “I spent money repairing the rim, tyre, shocks and a few other suspension parts, plus I had to hire a car while my vehicle got repaired. We pay our rates, so the least the municipality can do is to ensure that the roads are well maintained.”

A Woodlands resident complained about a trench at the intersection of Jacaranda and Teak roads. The ever- widening hole has been neglected for three months.

Another motorist, Mandisa Mkhize, said the road where she stays in Imbali is also riddled with potholes. You have to drive in a zig-zag because of the potholes, she said.

Read more on:    msunduzi municipality  |  pietermaritzburg  |  potholes

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