Muni fast tracking pothole repairs
By Bev Mortimer
Kouga Municipality’s road repair project has made great strides recently to fix the nastiest sections of the town’s potholes.
The section between Harbour Road and the tennis courts along St Francis Drive has been repaired, except for the corners of this drive with Harbour and Nevil Roads. These two areas will be repaired with concrete soon and have been prepared in readiness.
The municipal repair team is now supervised by St Francis Bay resident, Nigel Aitken. Aitken, who is acting as a project manager, is representing the St Francis Bay community in prioritising which sections of the town’s roads need repairing first. The main roads and routes followed by visitors will be done first. Then other roads will be tackled.
Owing to lack of funds over the past two months the municipality has only been able to afford gravel and stone chips to fill the potholes – and these fillings just washed away in the next downpour. But the municipality has now supplied quite a bit of tar - a much thicker tar than used previously - for the repair work.
St Francis Bay’s roads (as elsewhere in Kouga and other parts of the Eastern Cape) took a big beating in the rainy season over the last two months, leading to the creation of mini craters and dongas that became progressively bigger through lack of proper repair.
St Francis Drive has for the past two months been the worst road in the town as it has been almost completely littered with potholes, having some spots of the roads so bad that motorists were unable to dodge the holes and had to fork out much money for tyres and shocks.
The potholes are being repaired so as to have the roads driveable and looking good when the annual hordes of visitors come down to St Francis for the festive season. “Bad potholes will either chase many holiday makers away or make those brave enough to stay, vow not to return – as happened over the long weekend in August,” some residents told St Francis Chronicle.
Next in the queue to have its potholes filled with tar is Lyme Road South that has already been prepared by having the holes cleaned and dusted.
The pothole repair team appreciate any help offered; those wanting to assist can contact Aitken on 082 465 3719.
The other pothole project, aka Milkwood Speaks Project, will fund the fixing of roads where repairing is impossible – areas severely affected by the lack of proper drainage. In these areas it’s envisaged that concrete will be used with storm water drainage pipes. The number of areas repaired with concrete will depend on the amount of donations received.
This fund raising project, initiated by Johan Dippenaar, now has funds totalling R64 000. These funds are voluntary donations from some residents who had enough of driving on bad roads and big vehicle repair bills.
Supporters of the fund raising project say it’s a temporary solution until the municipality can afford to fix them correctly once again. It’s also a way of providing a kind of bridging finance to fix the current road sections that are not repairable.
Plans for the repair work using concrete have been designed by consulting Structural and Civil Engineer, Herman Pietersen. This work will be overseen by Miles Cuffe, an experienced contractor. Kouga municipal assistance for the placing of concrete will be in the form of labour, supervised by Aitken and his team, plus equipment.
Payment for concreting sections of the town’s roads will come from the pothole repair fund. Anyone wanting to pledge funds can contact Dippenaar on: 073 014 0169.
The bank account for the project is open and donors can make their payments. The bank account details are: Milkwood Speaks Road And Pothole Projects, Investec Private Bank, Acc No: 4059749310, Branch Code: 580105. Account Type: Ccm Call Money Fund.
So far the following businesses and individuals have voluntary pledged their own funds: Ferdi Dippenaar: R10 000; SuperSpar St Francis Bay: R 30 000; St Francis Links: R10 000; F Swart: R1000; M Langlands: R1000; Anonymous: R1000; Yvonne and Peter Bosman: R1000; Bruwer Swanepoel: R2000; IPC (Les Olivier): R1000; Stationery Butler: R1000; Toon Overstijns R1000; Johan Oelofse R1000; Derek Cook: R2000; and Claudia Urzi: R2000.
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