Throw-and-roll raises eyebrows

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GK CRONJE

15 June 2021

Loose gravel lining the roadside is a clear indication that the fillings were improperly compacted, and have degraded to a alarming degree, despite being filled less than a month ago.

With a big hoopla Msukaligwa Local Municipality (MLM) announced on their Facebook page that teams will be repairing roadways, and proudly posted the surfaces repaired. While all is good and well, and the municipality used the proper material for patching, improper practices are the downfall of the work done. Residents have lodged several complaints with the Tribune ePaper regarding the methods used by MLM, and have collectively categorized the repairs as a waste of product and resources. Upon investigation of the wards in question, the cause of the complaint is clear. While the correct product had been used by the teams, the drop and go method used in some of the patchwork, where a mixture is simply poured into potholes and left to dry, proved to be ineffective and many of the potholes that were repaired, are once again a gaping danger to motorists. In other instances, the throw-and-roll method was partially implemented, but can also be deemed a waste of product and resources. The mixture used was clearly inadequate, and the potholes were not cleared of debris and soil before pouring of the mixture. Loose gravel lining the roadside is a clear indication that the fillings were improperly compacted, and have degraded to a alarming degree, despite being filled less than a month ago.

To save resources, manpower and funds, the correct procedure should be implemented, but is not. While institutions and private companies in Ermelo have used the correct method, by cutting out a section of roadway around the pothole, filling and compacting the patch with the correct ration and product, the same cannot be said with MLM’s methods. A semi-permanent procedure for repairing potholes is often considered the best procedure besides full-depth replacement of the affected area. When done according to acceptable standards, the pothole is first cleared of water and debris and the sides of the pothole are squared to a depth where the roadway is sound. The material is placed in the patch area and compacted with equipment smaller than the patch area, is very tightly compacted and provides exceptional longevity. Alas, the majority of the potholes that were repaired by MLM teams are once again eroded to a large degree. According to reports, a joint venture launched by concerned citizens in an attempt to repair roadways to an acceptable level has also fallen through due to disagreements between MLM and the involved parties. Product wastage by municipal teams was cited as one of the main causes of the venture being snuffed.