Pothole frustration

2017-06-05 14:17
Parts of McKay Drive in Ashburton were dug up by Msunduzi municipal contractors who also ripped up the tar 15 months ago. (INSET) The road is now covered only in gravel which is causing damage to vehicles that travel on the road.

Parts of McKay Drive in Ashburton were dug up by Msunduzi municipal contractors who also ripped up the tar 15 months ago. (INSET) The road is now covered only in gravel which is causing damage to vehicles that travel on the road. (Supplied)

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Does the City have a solid plan to fix the enormous potholes damaging cars?

Witness Warriors receives complaints almost every day from concerned residents and motorists who have reported potholes to the municipality.

Most people said they had reported the potholes via the municipal call centre, but the potholes remain there, often growing in size.

Some complaints date back to last year, with residents saying some potholes were either filled “haphazardly” or left to expand into large sinkholes on the road.

Ashburton residents specifically said they are yet to see municipal workers on any of their roads.

Following an article in The Witness last week, race director Rowyn James from the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) said every pothole along the route had been filled.

One frustrated resident said they were thankful that Ashburton formed part of the Comrades Marathon route as “that is the only time you will see the roads in a good state”. At Mckay Drive in Ashburton, residents asked when subcontractors would return to resurface the road they stripped of tar last year.

The busy road leads from the N3 off-ramp. Work on the road started in April last year, but was stopped a few months later, leaving the road muddy and slippery after rainfall.

“I have now spent more than R12 000 on tyres and wear and tear on my two vehicles. We simply just cannot drive on this road and it is ridiculous,” said another resident.

He has contacted the municipality on numerous occasions but has never been given a straightforward answer.

“I eventually managed to get hold of the company who were contracted and they said there were payment issues with the municipality that caused them to stop working,” he said.

Msunduzi Municipality was unable to say when work on the road would resume. Spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said, “The process was halted due to some technicalities, which are being resolved. That’s all we can say at this stage.”

She added that the city was busy with pothole repairs each day, but heavy downpours posed a major challenge. Residents said they will now seek legal action against the municipality. They said they have suffered loss of income and damages to their vehicles that have cost them thousands of rands.

In 2009, Pietermaritzburg advocate Allistair McIntosh won R15 million in damages after suing the provincial Transport Department for compensation for injuries sustained when he had crashed on the P164 Rosetta-Kamberg road in 2004.

He had tried to avoid a pothole while cycling. McIntosh’s case was dismissed by the Pietermaritzburg high court, but he won on appeal in the Supreme Court of Appeal.

• Unfortunately Witness Warriors cannot take up every case, but will focus on those that resonate with, and help, others.

We prefer cases with a record of correspondence.

Please Like and Follow our Witness Warriors Facebook page where your concerns and responses from the authorities may be published.

The municipal Call Centre number is 0800 00 1868 or you can e-mail them on call.centre@msunduzi.gov.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  witness warrior

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