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Potholes anger Kimberley residents

Residents demand that the Sol Plaatje municipality fix the potholes which have made the streets dangerous

THE Northern Cape capital city of Kimberley is impassible in some areas because of potholes and no one wants to take responsibility.

For now, the streets need re-tarring and potholes have to be filled in other less affected areas.

Residents and motorists have called on the government to fix the roads.

The bad condition of the roads were among the list of grievances that sparked a three-day protest over services in the area three weeks ago.

A Galeshewe taxi driver, Sipho January, said that repairs on smaller sedans and minibuses were frequent because of the damage caused by potholes.

“There have also been accidents. There are times when you have to swerve or apply brakes suddenly and leave yourself open for other cars to hit you from behind.

“I have spent almost R30000 fixing my taxi since the beginning of this year.

“These roads are shocking and I don’t know why we pay rates and taxes when this is what we have to put up with,” January said.

Another motorist, Thami Plaatjie, said he did not understand why the government was failing to the fix the roads.

He said that potholes had caused punctures and damage to their vehicles.

“We urge drivers who come from other provinces to be cautious,” he said.

Other motorists claimed the Sol Plaatje municipality was indifferent to their plight.

Sol Plaatje municipality spokesperson Sello Matsie said the municipality was fixing roads in the area.

However, Matsie said they had finished with Barkley Road and they were now fixing roads with high traffic

volumes.

“We are fixing roads that have a high volume of cars passing through compared to a road where there is just one or two cars passing by,” he said.

He said that in the 2016-17 financial year, they would spend R17m on upgrading the roads.

A resident, Tshepiso Mati, said people were voting for politicians who didn’t deliver services to the community.

“These officials get paid for nothing. I believe there is a budget for these potholes but someone is not doing his or her job.

“The municipality must hire capable people who are willing to serve the community. There are potholes all over Kimberley but no one is fixing them,”

-SMANGA KUMALO

This article originally appeared on ANN7

Picture: The potholes in Kimberley have caused extensive damage to cars and taxis. PICTURE: ISAAC KHUMALO

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