“The pothole patching work is of such a low quality that it is evident that this is just for show.”
RESIDENTS in Aasvoël Street in Roodepan were left less than impressed on Monday after Sol Plaatje municipal workers kicked off repair work on roads in the area.
The fixing of roads forms part of a R500 million project aimed at addressing service delivery and infrastructure challenges in Kimberley.
Northern Cape Premier Dr Zamani Saul announced last week that a half-a-billion-rand project has been launched by local government, in partnership with Sol Plaatje Municipality, to restore the “sparkle” to the city.
Saul indicated that the project would focus on road maintenance, sanitation and housing.
Residents in Aasvoël Street on Monday labelled the pothole patching work conducted by the municipal workers as a “waste of time” and resources.
“The workers started work after 9am this (Monday) morning. They left at about noon and only patched about a quarter of the road. Not even half of the potholes in this road were patched,” the residents said.
“The patching is also of such low quality that it is evident that this is just for show. The material used looks like gravel that is mixed with cement. The potholes were merely filled with that mixture and it will not even last one month. The rain will also easily wash the filling away.
“They (municipal officials) came here in their shiny cars and took pictures. The workers left a few hours afterwards. This is despicable as the majority of the road was left as is.”
Residents said they were “not surprised”.
“We have read about the hundreds of millions of rand allocated for this infrastructure project, however, we are all aware that the money will not be used on the work that the government claims it is for,” they said.
“We have been living with potholes and sewage streaming into our streets for many years now. It will take a miracle for the municipality to fix these problems. In the past they have attempted to address these problems, but they failed dismally and they have over the years accepted defeat.
“Those millions of rand are already safely in the pockets of some officials in government. We will await the commissions of inquiry that will be launched after they announce that the funds have run dry.”
Other residents said that “minor tasks” had proven to be a “major challenge” to the municipality.
“One has over the years become accustomed to not expecting much from the local municipality. Many residents have over the years taken matters into their own hands and solved their own service delivery challenges.
“We have over the years had challenges with the water and sanitation in this city. Those problems were never addressed and are still present.
“There are several streets that have been swamped with sewage and residents have been living in stench on a daily basis, while the municipality just does not care about solving these problems. They cannot even argue that they were unaware of the problems, because their councillors and employees are living in some of these areas.”.
Meanwhile, residents in Hammerkop Street, a few blocks away from Aasvoël Street, said that their cries over the sewage that is flowing like a river down the entire street have been falling on deaf ears for many years.
“The sewage starts at the beginning of the street and flows right until the end of the street. Nobody in this street is spared the stench,” they said. “Our children are exposed to the waste on a daily basis. It is unhygienic but the problem has never been addressed.
“The street is also filled with potholes as a result of the sewage. The municipality will have to tar the entire road, however, we do not believe that will happen as they first have to fix the sewerage system … and that we would like to see.”