Road to New Life still a hazard

Taxi drivers from New Life in BCM’s ward 13, which includes Reeston, are fed up with the metro for failing to maintain their road network.

TRAFFIC ALERT: Mbulelo Njoloza and taxi drivers from New Life are fed up with the gravel road leading up to their community Picture: BHONGO JACOB

Taxi leaders from the area told the Daily Dispatch that the gravel road leading to their community had been neglected for five years.

When the RDP township of New Life was constructed, all interior roads were tarred, but the main road linking the township to Black Road was left as gravel.

Taxi driver Mbulelo Njoloza said he had been out of business for two days this week while his vehicle went in for repairs caused by driving on the poor roads.

He said it was the second time this year it had been repaired.

“I have been driving on this road for three years now.

“Nothing has changed. We do not know why they did not complete it when the roads of this area were being made,” he said.

“Every month we have to take our cars to mechanics to check on the damage caused.

“On May 2 there was an IDP [Integrated Development Plan] meeting where a lot of community issues were discussed. We were told there was a budget to fix the roads in Reeston and we also felt that they must set some of that money aside to repair the roads in our community as well, because we fall under the same ward.”

He said they had reported their grievances to their ward committee members, “but it seems as if there is no progress, nothing is being done, and things are getting worse”.

Luntu Mangolonti said some taxi drivers were reluctant to make trips to the area.

“It is a headache when it rains. The mud makes it hard to drive on that road.”

He said he had taken his Avanza in for repairs three times over the last four weeks.

“I have already paid over R3000 to fix my car. They should really consider how this is affecting our business and try to help us, because even the passengers complain that this makes them uncomfortable. Some of the taxi drivers in town avoid taking commuters to this area because they know their vehicles will get damaged.”

Ward councillor Nokulunga Matiwane said R3-million had been set aside to fix the road.

“They came to me in September last year to tell me of their challenges and I immediately went to the municipality to try and help them because I can see how the road is affecting their businesses.”

She said a date had yet to be set for when work on the road would begin.

“We had an IDP meeting with the whole ward last week and many issues, including the road matter, were discussed.”

Questions sent to BCM had not been responded to by the time of print.