Motorists complain of costly and dangerous potholes on Eastern Cape roads
Motorists didn’t mince words as they told MEC Eastern Cape for Transport Xolile Nqatha of their frustration with the state of the roads in parts of the province.
Eastern Cape MEC for Transport Xolile Nqatha hires taxi driver Mpumelelo Mkhusane at a roadblock on the R61 in the village of Nomlacu, near Bizana. Image: Provided
BIZANA – Motorists didn’t mince words as they told Eastern Cape MEC for Transport Xolile Nqatha of their frustration with the state of the roads in parts of the province.
Nqatha was manning a roadblock on the R61 outside Bizana near the KwaZulu-Natal border on Friday. Disgruntled motorists told him how much the province’s roads cost them.
Taxi driver Mpumelelo Mkhusane told Nqatha that his wish was for the provincial government to speed up the repair of potholes.
“The road between eMagusheni (in Bizana) and Post St Johns needs urgent attention. The road poses a huge hazard to road users. If you can get the road fixed soon, we would really appreciate it,” he said.
Another motorist, Ntokozo Khambule, said it was unfair that they were fined for not having permits when the delays were caused by the provincial government’s failure to issue them on time.
“We are fined for failing to produce permits and yet when we visit traffic department offices we experience delays. Our company is on the road, we don’t have time to spend the whole day in the traffic department,” lamented Khambule.
In response, Nqatha said the department was working with Sanral and the National Department of Transport to resolve the pothole problem.
Nqatha said the department has also opened several centers across the province to reduce the waiting period for permits.
“The center we recently opened is a state-of-the-art center in Bhisho for operating licenses, record renewals and ticket payment,” he said.
Nqatha said the department has identified other areas where it will open similar centers.
Acting deputy chief executive Zanemvula Ngovela said the department had planned to increase its annual pothole repair budget, currently at R50 million.
As the festive season is fast approaching, Nqatha said, the department has already started rolling out programs of awareness campaigns to ensure people obey the rules of the road.
Nqatha also urged pedestrians to be more vigilant.
He said at least 20 people lost their lives on the roads over Heritage Day weekend. “Most of them were pedestrians. We call on our communities to stay safe and to ensure that they obey the rules of the road,” he said.
Story courtesy of Keith Ngesi Media.