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Incessant rains compound pothole woes

by Staff reporter
28 Feb 2023 at 07:37hrs | Views
THE rains that have been falling in recent days have worsened potholes in Bulawayo, turning driving in the city into a greater nightmare.

A news crew drove through some of the roads around Bulawayo yesterday and observed that it is hard for vehicles to stick to their lanes as they negotiate the potholes.

Some of the potholes have developed at the centre of the roads making manoeuvring a nightmare, sometimes forcing drivers to negotiate their way in the potholes.

The most affected roads include the Luveve Road stretch covering Mzilikazi, Entumbane and Emakhandeni suburbs; Nketa Drive; Basch Street directly opposite Ross Camp Police Station; Old Khami Road along Kelvin Industrial Area; Fourth Street; Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Street, Jason Moyo Street, 1st Avenue and Plumtree Road in Belmont industrial area.

Bulawayo Deputy Mayor Councillor Mlandu Ncube said it would be unrealistic for residents to expect council to fix roads under the prevailing economic conditions.

He said road construction is capital intensive.

The deputy mayor said using meagre resources, council was patching several roads within the city centre to improve the situation.

"We are doing our best given the tough economic conditions and the fact that residents cannot pay rates as there are high levels of unemployment in Bulawayo. For now, we have been using our resources to patch several roads and we have our teams working on Luveve and Khami roads," said Clr Ncube.

"The other challenge we have is the fact that our roads are so bad we are forced to work on them even during the rainy season which is a great disadvantage. This makes them wear out quicker but we cannot sit and wait for the rain to end as the situation keeps getting worse.

We hope that soon, we will be able to use advanced technologies which are not affected by weather."

Mr Anywhere Mzila, a public transport operator, said the transport industry is the hardest hit as they pay the price daily.

He said weekly he has to part with hard-earned cash to repair tyres which wear out easily due to bad roads.

"We sometimes try diverting routes risking getting arrested and paying fines. We can only hope for a better tomorrow as the roads make it so difficult for us to make any profit, we continuously have to repair these cars," he said.

Another operator Mr Ntelezi Ishmael said most public transport vehicles are no longer roadworthy because of the poor state of roads in Bulawayo.

He said a number of his colleagues had failed to get certificates of fitness which are issued to a vehicle that meets all the requirements in terms of roadworthiness because the roads are bad.

"There is no road that we can single out and say it's better, all our roads need redoing. What stresses us more is that even if the roads are patched, within a few weeks the potholes resurface again, we are not even sure if the council is using the correct material," he said.

"The other nightmare comes with time spent trying to manoeuvre around the streets, it's pathetic. If one is not trying to avoid potholes, they are trying to be careful not to hit vendors who are now all over and making things worse."

He said the roads are very old and Bulawayo keeps growing in terms of population which makes it difficult for the council to consistently repair the roads.

"We need long-term solutions as operators we cannot continue like this. We cannot continue parting with hard earned cash just to repair our vehicles that get damaged as a result of bad roads," he said.

Mrs Sindisiwe Senda said the poor drainage system was worsening the situation.

"Residents often delay reaching their destinations especially as we are forced to drive slowly just to avoid damaging our tyres and suspension. I don't know how many times I have had to get my suspension repaired because of these roads and we wonder if we shouldn't have dust roads all over Bulawayo so that we put this issue to rest," he said.

Source - The Chronicle
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