21 September 2017 Read: 79
Phalaborwa’s municipality has assured their residents that they are working on restoring all the roads in their town, and have in fact started work already this week. This only a few days after Bulletin reported on the dastardly state of the town’s roads infrastructure which has seen significant deterioration due to lack of maintenance over the course of the last few years.
Some roads have become completely inaccessible and residents have reported substantial damages to their vehicles because of these treacherous streets. One woman went as far as filling the massive potholes in front of her home in Nollie Bosman Street, with cement, to enable entry to her property. “It is absolutely disgraceful and points to their nonchalant attitude towards the needs of their rate paying public,” she said.
But according to Jonas Mahesu, spokesperson for the Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality (BPM), there is an active roads maintenance crew with an annual budget of R4 781 469 tasked with keeping the town’s roads in good shape. Mahesu also said that the municipality has been working on restoring the aging infrastructure since 2014. “The current administration has a plan to address the ageing infrastructure both electrical and roads. From the 2014/2015 financial year the municipality has done major roads rehabilitation.”
He further stated that there are three types of maintenance schedules namely; routine maintenance, planned maintenance and daily maintenance. “The daily maintenance is when we attend to potholes on a daily basis,” he explained.
It appears as though some municipal employees did not receive that memo. Last week we drove along one of the main routes between the airport and the high school (2,5 kilometres) and we lost count at 63 potholes. If there is a maintenance budget dedicated to the roads infrastructure, what is it being spent on?
We asked Mahesu whether the maintenance schedule included the upkeep of the pavements and how often this was done. He did not respond. We also asked him why the old bicycle roads have not been restored, a question he also chose not to respond to. When we asked why the municipality had allowed their roads to deteriorate to the state it currently stands, he avoided the question and listed some of the streets they had allegedly completely rehabilitated.
“The maintenance team is currently working on the following streets as per the progress [sic] Frans du Toit and Tulbach from the 11th of September 2017 to the 28th of September 2017. The scope of the works are patching and sealing,” he said.
Ironically this work started two days after receipt of an official media enquiry from Bulletin. We will visit Tulbach Street this morning and report on our findings in our next edition.