Havenga Road gone to hell in a handbasket

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GK CRONJE

11 January 2022

"We are the ones losing clients and business, yet we have to dig into our wallets to assist the municipality."

Scores of residents, along with heavy vehicle drivers, have lamented the shoddy state of Havenga Road. Motorists are forced to drive on the sidewalk to avoid the ghastly sinkholes and potholes. Some of the sinkholes measure up to 50 centimeters in depth, and some of these sinkholes cause the mud flaps and belly plates from heavy vehicles to scrape on what remains of the road. The road conditions have deteriorated to such an extent that various heavy vehicle drivers have a had close calls being bogged down by their load, and all drivers have an amazingly stressful time navigating the maze of sinkholes. The road surface virtually nonexistent, with motorists having to take detours, or face the offroad track that is Havenga Road. Recent rainfall has highlighted the utter lack of maintenance and upkeep from Msukaligwa Local Municipality (MLM) of this designated heavy vehicle route. Msukaligwa Local Municipality's spokesman, Mandla Zwane, has stated in December 2021 that the municipality had plans on making the road traversable with the assistance of local businesses. Alas, the roadway is currently in an exponentially worse condition due to the rainfall experienced. Several local businesses have, however, expressed their dissatisfaction at the fact that MLM comes crawling tail between the legs for assistance when service delivery situations get financially too hot to handle.

“It is funny that the municipality only acknowledges big roleplayers in the Ermelo business and mining sectors when they are in need of assistance. We have been nagging at the municipality to take action with regards to Havenga Road, to maintain the surface and to make repairs before the road surface is too far gone;” a local business owner, who chooses to remain anonymous, lamented. “We have had several meetings with the officials at the municipality to avoid Havenga Road becoming a second Wessels Road lawsuit. However, nobody paid any heed, and all we as business owners were offered were half-hearted heaps of soil ditched in the sinkholes. The municipality did not even care enough to compact the soil. Months later, and now business owners and mining businesses are requested to assist with materials and machinery. To what end? It is clear that we, as business sector, are being misused. We are the ones losing clients and business, yet we have to dig into our wallets to assist the municipality, who is already pocketing and clearly wasting our rates and taxes, along with skyhigh water and electricity bills that we have to fork out every month. They are getting to the end of their rope and I don’t even feel a tinge of remorse for refusing to assist them in any way.” Road users are warned to the fact that smaller, deceptively deep potholes may be waterlogged, and pose a danger to unaware motorists further aggravates the situation.

The shocking state of Havenga Road. You may view more photos and videos on our Facebook page, Tribune Ermelo.