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'Leave potholes to council'

by Staff reporter
09 Jun 2023 at 01:31hrs | Views
RESIDENTS should not take matters of service delivery like patching up potholes that have infested the city into their own hands as that is the "sole" duty of the local authority, latest council minutes reveal.

Just like in many urban centres in the country, many roads in Bulawayo are now very difficult to navigate as they are riddled with potholes.

This emerged after Ward 12 Councillor Lillian Mlilo noted that in most wards, gravel had been dumped for pothole filling adding that in some wards residents had been engaged to spread the gravel and fill up potholes.

Ward 17 Clr Sikhululekile Moyo supported the idea saying in other areas gravel was still needed.

She said residents were willing to spread the gravel and fill up potholes while suggesting that gravel along major roads should be spread immediately to avoid creating a hazard to the motorist.

In response Ward 4 Clr Silas Chigora said the method was temporary adding that it was not the duty of residents to spread and cover potholes with gravel.

"He noted that there was a relevant council policy. Gravel dumping was becoming common in filling up potholes. This method was temporary. He urged the council to invest in a more lasting permanent solution. It was not the duty of residents to spread and cover potholes with gravel but council's duty. Council should now consider buying plant equipment or hiring," the minutes read in part.

Ward 8 Clr Edwin Ndlovu suggested that corporates should be persuaded to adopt roads next to their properties and thereafter necessary deductions on rates would be done accordingly.

This was after Ward 15 Clr Febbie Msipa expressed that the road leading to Luveve Cemetery was in a bad state while suggesting that it was possible for the local authority to engage other stakeholders such as funeral parlours to assist in the rehabilitation of the road.

Ward 5 Clr Felix Mhaka also felt that the three percent ward retention fund should be used to purchase the required materials for pothole filling such as Coldmix.

He also encouraged residents to erect boom gates in their residential areas and have maximum security.

"Alderman Siboniso Khumalo (Ward 27 Councillor) in his response applauded Ward 1. The 3% ward retention funds had been used to purchase materials to fill up potholes. Currently the council had only one grader which was operational.

"A request had been made for the purchasing of plant equipment. Regarding the road leading to Luveve Cemetery was work in progress," the minutes further reads.

Deputy Mayor Mlandu Ncube highlighted that patching of potholes in the CBD had progressed very well saying most roads now needed new road signage and resuscitation of carriage markings.

The Mayor, Clr Solomon Mguni applauded the local authority for clearing road verges which was an ongoing exercise in all the wards and major connecting roads.

"In some roads verges had overgrown, contributing to accidents. Community groups would be used to fill up potholes and spread gravel. Council had a relevant policy regarding adoption of roads by private organisations and business entities.

"Engagements of funeral companies would be done accordingly with regards to the rehabilitation of the road leading to Luveve Cemetery," said Cllr Mguni.

Meanwhile, recently Bulawayo Town Clerk Christopher Dube issued a shocking directive on residents to stop performing forms of repairs on the city's roads without permission or face prosecution.

He warned that those who repair roads without authorisation may be directed to restore them to their previous state or face criminal charges.

"In accordance with Section 53 of the Roads Act, Part IX, if any person does any act which he has not been authorised by the road authority concerned to do, the City may, by notice in writing, direct the person, at his own expense and within such period as shall be specified in the notice, to restore the land to the condition in which it was immediately before the unauthorised act.

"If the person fails to comply with the direction within the period specified, he shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level four or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months or both such fine and such imprisonment," warned Dube.

The directive however, sparked outrage from residents who felt the city fathers were already failing to meet their mandate of fixing roads.

Source - B-Metro
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