NDLAMBE Municipality has come under fire for how its workers go about repairing potholes – an issue which has come up before.
A concerned Nemato resident, who did not want his name mentioned, approached a Talk of the Town reporter on Saturday and expressed his disaffection about the poor pothole repairs on tarred roads in Nemato. He urged the TotT reporter to take a walk with him to the specific streets where repairs have taken place.
The concerned resident acknowledged the efforts to fix the roads, but was sceptical about how it was being done. “Look, you cannot just sweep the surface and put in tar without doing proper preparations,” he said.
Sweeping the loose soil in potholes appeared to be the only preparation made before pouring the tar in the holes. “[This mix] poured on the ground surface without stones in it cannot last long,” the resident said.
He believes this short term solution was merely a waste of money, asserting that rain will easily erode the new tar from the holes.
According to the concerned resident, the poor quality of work suggests that the employees doing the work are not trained to do pothole repairs on tarred roads. He said tar road patches required special trained people for the job.
He further raised concerns about some parts of the road which the workers skip as they are doing the patches, even though they are in terrible condition. Some of the holes which were missed out appear to be even worse than those selected for repair.
As the Talk of the Town reporter was taking photos of the streets, a furious elderly woman, identifying herself as Doris Tokota, approached and expressed her anger, thinking that she was talking to municipal employee.
“My child, when are you fixing this,” she asked, pointing to the broken edge of the road next to her garden gate. She said some years ago a municipal bakkie had ramped off the road and hit her house, which she repaired by herself.
She said she had raised the issue with the municipality several times but her request always fell on deaf ears.
“[Infrastructure director] Noluthando [Vithi] knows me, I have been talking to her,” she said.
She also mentioned that she had once consulted a Xhosa magistrate, who said she would need a lot of money to take the municipality to court.
Unable to take the matter further due to financial constraints, Tokota said: “I wanted to consult Cutting Edge to come and see this thing.”
Municipal spokesman Cecil Mbolekwa did not respond to requests for comment.