PICS: Bus stuck in large sinkhole in Port Elizabeth

An Algoa Bus Company bus has been stuck in the sinkhole. (Councillor Gustav Rautenbach)
An Algoa Bus Company bus has been stuck in the sinkhole. (Councillor Gustav Rautenbach)

A large sinkhole in Port Elizabeth nearly swallowed a bus in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday.

An Algoa Bus Company bus was stuck in the sinkhole which opened on the corner of Vitry Avenue and Verdun Road in Lorraine, Port Elizabeth.

"I was at the scene as soon as I was informed about it. It was a burst water pipe because the water works guys came out and worked on it," Ward 8 Councillor Gustav Rautenbach told News24 on Thursday.

It appeared that the water had eroded the material under the tarred surface and either the driver could not see it because of the wet weather, or the weight of the bus opened it.

Despite the large size of the hole, the bus did not appear to be too badly damaged and no one was injured.

"After they pulled the bus out of the hole, it carried on," Rautenbach said.

Infrastructure

But the sinkhole does not surprise Rautenbach, who first became a councillor for Ward 8 in 2000.

"I've warned them since I became a councillor, since 2000, that the infrastructure is collapsing. The pipes are between 30 and 40 years old."

An Algoa Bus Company bus has been stuck in the sin

An Algoa Bus Company bus has been stuck in the sin

An Algoa Bus Company bus has been stuck in the sinkhole. (Councillor Gustav Rautenbach)

He said that the budget for Ward 8 was poor.

"The budget is really non-existent for the current financial year, ending on June 30. During the year, they took R500 000 away from my budget," said Rautenbach, who reported 20 burst pipes and water leaks since May 15.

Nelson Mandela Bay's Integrated Development Plan, adopted on June 19, lists Basic Service Delivery and Infrastructure Development as a key performance area of Local Government.

However, the IDP highlights that 61 out of 67 posts in the infrastructure and engineering directorate are vacant.

Rautenbach said he has written to the municipality to ask what its plan is for the burst water pipes.

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