Cut-off residents call for repairs to roads, bridges

Residents of three Whittlesea villages marched to the department of roads and public works in the Chris Hani region, saying floods had cut them off for weeks after their bridges were washed away and roads badly damaged.
This week’s rain has made the problems even worse. The residents of Musas, Hackney and Mtwakazi villages in Whittlesea complained that vehicles did not have access to the villages as the bridges to two of the villages had collapsed, and the roads were in a bad way.
Community leader, Sam Ngaju, said children had stopped going to school.
“Ambulances, buses and other cars can’t get into these villages as there is no road and the bridges have collapsed. Recently we had a funeral and the undertaker could not get to the village,” he said.
Ngaju said there would be another funeral this week, and if the road was not fixed by Saturday they did not know how the undertaker would get to the village.
“It is dangerous for our children to cross the river on horseback. The only high school we have for residents of Musa and Mtwakazi is Phumlani Mzamomhle Combined School and children from both villages have to cross the bridge in order to go to school,” he said.
Njadu said old people had to pay R150 just to get to Komani to get their grants and another R150 to get back home.
“The area does not have a police station and the clinic closes early. If someone gets sick we have to hire a car to take that person to the hospital,” he said.
Ward committee member, Babalwa Buthi said it had been three years since the road was last maintained.
“The bridges have collapsed and the department is doing nothing to fix the road other than just taking pictures. We want the road to be properly done so that people can go to town and children can be able to go to school,” she said.
Sicelo Ntsila, who represented the department, thanked the people for raising the matter and promised to attend to it on Thursday.
Ntsila said: “We are talking with Enoch Mgijima municipality on how we can work together in coming up with the plan to deal with the roads in this area. We maintain a certain number of roads per financial year and we will put your roads on the list of priority roads to be fixed this financial year,” he said.
He said they would send a grader and all the necessary equipment needed to fix the roads.
After long deliberations between Ntsila and the residents, they agreed that the department should start grading the road on Thursday and follow up by fixing the bridges and other parts of the road that needed special attention...

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