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Potholes eat into Bulawayo motorists' pockets

by Staff reporter
04 Feb 2022 at 05:37hrs | Views
MOTORISTS driving in Bulawayo's city centre are having a torrid time negotiating potholes, a hazard that is resulting in accidents and damage to cars in some cases.

Last month, the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) said 75 percent of its road network is in poor condition but has suspended road repairs until the end of the rainy season.

Bulawayo city centre is supposed to be the epicentre of commerce, but now it is a mine field of potholes.

At the intersection of Jason Moyo Street and 6th Avenue there is a huge pothole that has been there for a long time. Drivers are at pains to avoid the pothole and at the same time give way to traffic.

It has also become unbearable to drive along Lobengula Street especially the stretch between 3rd and 6th Avenue which has a number of potholes that have developed into craters.

Other roads after 3rd Avenue are in a sorry state, resulting in damages to vehicles.

With the heavy rains, masking some potholes, accidents occur on a daily basis where cars side swipe each other or ram into each other due to people trying to avoid the potholes.

Mr Mbonisi Ncube who is a member of the BMW Club in Bulawayo said motorists were incurring unnecessary costs and losses due to the poor state of roads.

"Mechanically the potholes are damaging our suspensions a lot. You are forced to buy shocks and control arms especially for the BMWs. Those who have mag wheels on their cars have cracks on them and tear the tyres. For example, my car has a low profile and the tyre is US$150 each and if I hit a pothole I might be forced to buy a new one or also crack the rim and then I have to stitch it up," said Mr Ncube.

"A pothole at the corner at Joshua Mqabuko and 4th Avenue, at the traffic lights, for you to cross there, one has to encroach on the other lane. If there's someone moving at a high speed, by the time you want to manoeuvre that pothole, you will side swipe each other or have a collision. Some accidents in the CBD are caused by people trying to avoid potholes."

Mr Malvin ‘Kruger' Ncube former president of Team VW Bulawayo said he cracked two rims in the city centre when he hit potholes.

"There is a road that I use every day that is at the bridge in Mzilikazi using 6th avenue extension, the potholes there are bad. I drove into town at the market area, that's George Silundika, and I cracked two of my 18-inch rims on my VW Beetle.

"We are having a tough time with these potholes around the CBD. The way I have been paying for suspension, tyres and rim cracks because of these potholes, it's very expensive," said Mr Ncube.

He said accidents are also a problem as he almost caused one, while trying to avoid potholes.

"Today in the morning on my way to the city, I almost hit another lady's car, a Nissan March, because I was trying to avoid a pothole. This was at the bridge dividing Mzilikazi and Makokoba, where the potholes there are just something else. I think these are the worst in the whole of Bulawayo," said Mr Ncube.

Although the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme launched by Government saw some of the city's major roads being rehabilitated, the Bulawayo City Council has to a large extent failed to come to the party.

Source - The Chronicle