Residents relieved as City finally closes dusty road

2019-01-21 16:44
Msunduzi has closed an extension of Connor Road. which was causing dust to spew onto properties. PHOTO: KERUSHUN PILLAY

Msunduzi has closed an extension of Connor Road. which was causing dust to spew onto properties. PHOTO: KERUSHUN PILLAY

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A long, winding dirt road in Chase Valley that spewed dust onto neighbouring properties has finally been closed by Msunduzi.

The municipality dug deep trenches on the road — an extension of Connor Road — and erected barricades, bringing to end a lengthy battle by the community to get the City to intervene.

The Witness reported last year that the dirt road was being used as a “short-cut” back road which saw high traffic volumes from Claridge, Woodlands and Otto’s Bluff. The constant traffic caused clouds of dust from the road to fly into properties.

Houses and outside fixtures were covered in a black dust.

Msunduzi had erected barricades around Christmas last year, but motorists tore them down. Last week, the City took more decisive action and dug the trenches, making it impossible for cars to enter the road.

City spokesperson Ntobeko Ngcobo said the road was never a public road but rather a private access route for the surrounding forest.

She added: “The road is slippery and a vehicular hazard during wet weather, [making it] unsuitable for public use. There have also been reports of vehicles sliding and overturning at the steep, curved section.”

Ngcobo said there was a proposal to asphalt 300 metres of the road, but there was no funding available at the moment.

The area’s councillor, Melika Singh, said she had been dealing with this matter for two years.

“As Ward 25 councillor, I have been dealing with this matter for two years. I was concerned as this has become a health and safety hazard. For residents to live under such conditions is an infringement of their rights.

“I escalated this matter to the office of the deputy mayor and was relieved when officials finally agreed on a course of action and the subsequent implementation,” she said.

Mansingh Singh, a resident of a nearby property who previously approached The Witness about the problem, said he was grateful that the City had taken decisive action.

“We can finally open our windows and use our yards without our furniture deteriorating. Our health is no longer threatened.”

He said the community was willing to give Msunduzi time to decide what to do with the road, adding that they would not mind if the road never gets tarred and remained shut.

“It would be fine if they did nothing because there are other routes.”

He said motorists who used the route should respect the City’s decision and understand that residents followed proper processes when escalating their complaint.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  msunduzi municipality

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