A car almost overturned as a result of the condition of the road
MASSIVE potholes throughout Kimberley have created a dangerous situation on several city roads, with motorists either being forced to veer into oncoming traffic to avoid the holes or face extensively damaging their vehicles.
“Memorial Road, from the circle going towards DuToitspan Road, is an absolute disgrace and is extremely dangerous,” one motorist said yesterday, pointing out that he had personally witnessed several near accidents at the spot.
“Yesterday morning a car with a Free State registration almost overturned as a result of the condition of the road.”
He was echoed by Ross Henderson, chairperson of the Kimberley Civics Association, who said that a family member damaged the suspension of his car. “He intends to put a claim in with the municipality for the damages and if they don’t pay out, we will take legal action.”
Henderson pointed out that this particular pothole had been there for more than four months. “This is a major road, and carries traffic from the airport, as well as people dropping their children off at Diamantveld High School and Kimberley Boys’ High and yet the municipality has just ignored the fact that this has become so dangerous.”
He added that instead of fixing the surface of the road, the municipality had thrown gravel into the hole. “This has made it even more dangerous.”
The municipality has also come under fire from residents for digging up roads in preparation for repair work, but then leaving it for long periods before tarring the prepared area. “This is even more dangerous than the potholes,” one resident stated.
“Green Street, near the cemetery, is a perfect example. There is now a massive crater in the road, where the municipality removed the surface in order to tar the road, but nothing has been done. There aren’t even any warning signs for motorists, which is very dangerous especially at night. At least we know where the potholes are and we can avoid them, but it is impossible to avoid such a large area. People’s cars are being damaged and the municipality just shrugs its shoulders.”
Picture: Danie van der Lith
Municipal spokesperson, Sello Matsie, said yesterday in response that the potholes were cut square to prepare them for patching but were also filled with gravel material to make them safe before the asphalt surface was applied.
“Under normal circumstances, these squares are patched within a day or two. Prolonged delays are usually caused by the asphalt supplier not delivering asphalt, or when the asphalt plant breaks and the holes have already been prepared for patching.”
Matsie explained that the maintenance team used bags of cold asphalt for all emergencies and dangerous potholes.
“The maintenance team is sometimes unfortunately not alerted to dangerous potholes and this can cause a delay. However, major roads are always prioritised due to the high volumes of traffic that they carry.”
According to Matsie, the pothole patching teams were currently busy attending to waterworks excavations on all major roads in Galeshewe, the CBD and surrounding suburbs.
“There were a number of asbestos pipes that burst during the winter season due to the drop in temperature and this has resulted in a number of roads having to be reinstated after the pipes were fixed. This has created a backlog, but special attention is being given to waterworks excavations specifically.”
He added that a maintenance programme had been prepared for August to December, which would be presented at the next Transport, Roads and Stormwater committee meeting, scheduled for next week.
“After approval and adoption by the Transport, Roads and Stormwater committee, the programme will be available for publishing.
“The challenge with pothole patching has always been that the maintenance demand exceeds our financial and physical capabilities. Kimberley is an old town with very old roads, and with the truck volumes and extreme weather conditions, it makes the maintenance of roads very expensive.