Motorists pay volunteers to fix potholes in Nelson Mandela Bay
Fed-up with waiting for the municipality, residents have taken matters into their own hands
The failure by Nelson Mandela Bay municipality to fix the potholes in Old Uitenhage Road between Smartie Town and Missionvale township has prompted four unemployed residents to fix the road themselves. In return, motorists give them money.
For years the road has repeatedly been flooded by blocked and overflowing sewage drains in Smartie Town.
One of the residents who took matters into her own hands is Theresa Fisanti. “Since last year this road has been like this,” she said. “Early in the morning and afternoon there is always traffic congestion here. Vehicles have to drive on one side of the road.
“The congestion makes school kids and workers late. We decided to fix this road because our municipality has failed to do so. Taximen and motorists give us tips. We share those tips among ourselves,” she said.
Megan Stoltz, who lives nearby, said the volunteers “are not only helping the motorists, they have also helped me too”. When the potholes overflow with sewage it spreads into her yard, she said.
“We always see municipal officials coming and taking photos of these potholes. Our ward councillor is also driving on this road every day but he is doing nothing to fix this road. I am happy to see my neighbours stepping in,” she said.
Taxi driver Andries Johannes said, “Filling up these potholes with soil and stones has made this road much better. We are no longer getting stuck in the traffic since these residents started to fix the road. We give them tips to keep up the good work.”
Mayco member for roads and transport Rosie Daaminds said, “The leak that was causing the potholes has been fixed. A contractor will be sent soon to fix the potholes.”
Municipal spokesperson Mamela Ndamase said, “It is encouraging that residents do assist where they can. The directorate of roads and storm water is working around the city resurfacing and fixing potholes. The area you are referring to will also be fixed within this financial year.”
- This article was first published by GroundUp.