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Tue Jun 28 09:46:37 CAT 2016

SAY WHAT?! A pothole so big that residents plant a tree in it

Zisanda Nkonkobe | 08 March, 2016 10:08

Image by: SIBONGILE NGALWA/Dispatch

A pothole in East London was so deep that residents were able to fit a medium-sized tree into it‚ in an effort to fill it up and warn motorists of the danger.

Irate residents of Gonubie said the suburb's potholes were so deep they called them “craters” and the one situated on the corner of 5th Street and 16th Avenue‚ in which the tree was planted‚ was particularly bad.

Patricia Shunjica said for her‚ the worst potholes were in 16th Avenue where the tar had been so badly eroded the road resembled a rural gravel road.

Shunjica said every time Buffalo City Metro filled the potholes it was only a matter of time until they appeared again. “The roads are so terrible that when you drive up and down here you have to slow your car right down to avoid hitting them. It’s easy for us who live here but imagine for someone who has never driven down these roads before‚ especially at night‚” Shunjica said.

Another resident‚ Tracy Mclachlan‚ said she couldn’t remember the last time she was able to drive straight on a road through the suburb.

“You have to swerve constantly because these potholes are everywhere. This is so risky because we could actually crash into someone‚” she said.

“These roads are shocking‚ they are disgusting and I don’t actually know why we are forced to pay rates and taxes when this is what we have to put up with.”

Local business owner Sunette Botha said residents had resorted to filling potholes with various materials‚ which was often not the best course of action.

“I have seen some residents using bricks‚ sand and sabunga to fill up some of these potholes but it usually ends up being dangerous for us. When these materials are used and we drive over them‚ the small particles sometimes fly up and hit the body of the car or the windscreen‚ leaving the glass cracked or the body with small dents.

“The pothole that has the tree put into it is so deep that I always worried that someone would be injured there. It has been like that for months and months and nothing was ever done to try and fill it up.”

Gonubie ratepayers association chairman Andre Swart said when the Buffalo City Metro Municipality’s new mayor Alfred Mtsi came into office last year‚ potholes had been highlighted as a priority‚ although nothing has been done to address the situation to date.

Swart said he had written to BCM requesting permission to fix the potholes around the beachfront ahead of the festive season last year but no response had been received.

“Meanwhile the roads in Gonubie deteriorate daily. When it rains these potholes turn into swimming pools. I just want to know why how long we will be forced to live like this‚” Swart said.

Attempts to get hold of Gonubie’s ward 27 councillor Roy Angelbeck were unsuccessful. A response to questions sent to BCM had not been received at the time of writing.

- In February‚ an East London cyclist died in hospital after being critically injured when hitting a pothole on the city's North East Expressway.

Arthur Salzwedel‚ 75‚ from Cambridge‚ was an award-winning cyclist. The accident happened during a morning training session for members of the Cambridge Harriers Cycling Club‚ of which Salzwedel was a member. The father of seven had been riding in the middle of a group and was unable to avoid hitting the large pothole. He sustained serious head injuries‚ fractured two vertebrae and suffered neck trauma‚ among other injuries.

OPTIONAL WEB CALL-OUT TO READERS

Where are the worse potholes you've seen? What do you use to fill up potholes in your area with? Send your pictures to TMGDIGITAL@TIMESMEDIA.CO.ZA and they could be published on our digital platforms.

- TMG Digital/Daily Dispatch

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