Car plunges into hole left in road by Makana municipal workers

A car crashed into a gaping hole left wide open by municipal workers in the middle of a major tar road in Makhanda.
Image: 123RF/ Bunyarit Suwansantawee

A car  crashed into a gaping hole left wide open by municipal workers in the middle of a major tar road in Makhanda on Thursday.

Miraculously, the driver was uninjured.

Her car plunged into a metre-deep hole, which has a municipal water valve thrusting straight upwards out of it.

Makana municipal staff dug out a trench last week, exposing a notoriously leaky valve in the middle of Fitzroy Street.

The leak regularly pushes its way through the tar, causing a large pothole to form.

Municipal staff dug out a hole 2m wide and deep with excavating equipment some time last week to expose the problematic valve.

However, they neither repaired the leak nor filled the hole, leaving it open with mounds of soil around it.

Red and white tape was put around the hole, and a single plastic yellow road barrier in front of it.

However, both the tape and the barrier were knocked flat by strong winds early this week.

Blinded by the rising sun on Wednesday, a driver drove straight into the exposed hole.

She appeared shocked when the Dispatch arrived on the scene but said she was “OK”.

She did not want to be interviewed and sat shivering in a friend’s car while attempts were made to tow her damaged car out of the hole.

One bystander told traffic officers it was a “bloody accident waiting to happen”.

It is not clear why the municipality left the hole wide open for so long.

The badly damaged barrier, which was in the hole underneath the car, was re-erected by emergency staff on the scene.

One said if the barrier had not preceded the car into the hole — essentially protecting the car from the valve — the outcome might have been deadly for the driver.

Municipal spokesperson Yoliswa Ramokolo had failed to comment by print deadline on Thursday.

By Adrienne Carlisle

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