A road in Evaton West which had sported a giant pothole (Lwandile Bhengu, News24)
- Frustrated residents of Evaton resorted to swimming in a massive pothole on the road on Sunday to highlight the area’s poor road infrastructure.
- After the images went viral on social media, efforts were made to work on the road, which residents say has been in ruins since 2010.
- Residents are not convinced, however, that the way the road is repaired is a permanent solution.
What started as a way to beat the summer heat while protesting the poor service delivery and road infrastructure for residents of Evaton West has helped move forward with repairing a road they say has a giant pothole for over a decade.
On Sunday, photos of community members from Ward 26 swimming in a giant pothole on the street went viral on social media and provided a clear picture of the state of road infrastructure in the besieged municipality of Emfuleni.
“We wanted this street to be repaired because it turned into a swimming pool, which is dangerous. We don’t want a roadblock. Why did they make a road if it was to turn into a dam? »Said Fikile Xaba.
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News24 visited the street on Friday and found trucks working on the road. However, Xaba was not convinced that the work they were doing would be a permanent solution.
“They’re patching it, but water still collects in it, but it’s the first time they’ve patched it like this. Because the community fought back, they’re fixing it correctly, but we don’t think this is a permanent fix. We’ll see when it rains again, ”she said.
Namesa Khumalo, who has lived in the area for almost 30 years, said the road has been a problem since 2010 and the community is fed up with cars having to drive on the dusty sidewalk, which is a danger to their children.
“We didn’t want cars to run on the sidewalk because it puts the lives of our children at risk. We are not part of any organization. We are a community that tries to protect our children and our region. It has become a political affair. This road has been in ruins for a long time, ”Khumalo said.
Emfuleni Municipality, which was put under administration by Gauteng Cogta MEC Lebogang Maile in 2019, has become notorious for poor road infrastructure, and according to Khumalo, residents were told by a previous councilor that the municipality council no did not have the funds to repair the road.
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“We were told the council had no money. We are under Emfuleni, so we know the council has no money. So other roads were repaired, but we were told this one needed a lot more work and needed to be dug up, ”she said.
Emfuleni Municipality spokesman Makhosonke Sangweni told News24 that the road was one of those identified for rehabilitation and reconstruction by the provincial government.
During his 2021/22 budget speech, MEC Public Transport and Road Infrastructure, Jacob Mamabolo announced that the department has already spent over R 170 million on road maintenance and development in Emfuleni.