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The Great Pothole Rebranding Project: A Sol Plaatje fable of pothole poetry and asphalt activism


THE FUNHOUSE MIRROR COLUMN: In a stunning turn of events, the streets of Sol Plaatje have become the battleground for a guerrilla war of political graffiti. The weapon of choice? Potholes.

File picture: MS Dabbler

By Monty Quill

LADIES, gentlemen, and potholes of Sol Plaatje, gather ’round! It’s time for a tale of tar, tyre-worn poetry and asphalt activism.

Our protagonist? None other than the esteemed executive mayor – a man with a vision, a gown and a penchant for poetic justice.

One splendid morning, as the sun kissed the pavement, the mayor stood before a freshly sealed MacDougall Street. His gaze shifted from the distant horizon to the pothole at his feet – a chasm of inconvenience etched in gritty defiance.

His brow furrowed and he gazed into the abyss – well, the pothole, really. And there, like a cryptic message from the gods of infrastructure, were the letters: ‘ANC’.

File picture

Forget graffiti thought the mayor; our potholes are becoming political canvases, each crevice whispering party slogans and electoral promises.

The mayor cleared his throat, adjusting his hard hat with gravitas. The council assembled, pens poised for posterity. “Ladies and gentlemen,” the mayor intoned, “we face a crisis. Our potholes are not mere cavities; they are manifestos. The ANC – our beloved party – has left its mark. But fear not! We shall rewrite history – literally.”

A murmur swept through the assembled council members. They leaned forward, their eyes alight with anticipation. The mayor continued, his voice a blend of oratory and pragmatism: “To the rogue poet who wielded a spray can like a quill, I say this: If you can spell ‘ANC’, you can spell ‘REPAIRED’. Henceforth, let every pothole bear witness to our triumphs!”

And so, the Great Pothole Rebranding Project unfurled – a symphony of stencils, paint and revolutionary fervour.

Municipal teams fan out across MacDougall Street, armed with brushes and a dash of civic zeal. The ‘ANC’ letters, once symbols of neglect, transform. Each stroke becomes an act of redemption. “REPAIRED” emerges, letter by letter, a monument to asphalt alchemy.

Meanwhile, the opposition parties are seething. The DA want to know why their potholes haven’t received the same artistic treatment. “Where’s our ‘DA’ graffiti?” demands their spokesperson. “We’ve got potholes too, you know!”

But fate, like a mischievous deity, has other plans. On Phakamile Mabija Road, a lone pothole rebels. It yearns for more – a poetic flourish, a haiku perhaps?

The mayor, ever the bard of broken roads, obliges:

Cracked asphalt yawns wide,

Tire-eating abyss waits,

Swallows cars whole, sighs.

And so, dear citizens, the streets bear witness to both manifesto and verse, etching tales of rebellion and quiet longing into their pock-marked surfaces.

The tar’s testimony, like poetry, invites interpretation. Its meaning shifts with each passer-by, each season. Perhaps, dear reader, you’ll find your own verses etched upon its surface. In the meantime, drive carefully. You never know when a pothole might reveal its true colours.

As for the mayor, he’s off to write a sonnet about sewage maintenance.

ALSO READ: Sol ‘working feverishly’ to fix city’s roads – mayor

* Disclaimer: This piece is a work of satire. Any resemblance to real mayors, potholes or municipal shenanigans is purely coincidental. ANC, we salute your unintended artistic contributions.

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