When contractors arrived in Site B, Khayelitsha, with machines, picks and spades to fix the potholes in the streets, the councillor and residents were quite relieved.
Little did they know that the road was better off with the small potholes they had before rather than the giant growing ones created by the contractors. Since the road was dug up in October last year, nothing further has been done, more than four months later.
Disappointed residents of Badi, Tsotsa, Qwesha and Sandla streets said they hoped they would finally be able to drive through their streets without the threat of damaging their cars.
Ward 95 councillor Monde Nqulwana said he had lost hope that the streets would be fixed any time soon as the City of Cape Town had told him that there had been no budget for the initial project to fix the streets.
He said, based on the agreement with the City, the contractor was supposed to have started on October 14, last year but the starting date was later moved to November 20. In an exchange of correspondence with the City and Mr Nqulwana, which is in the hands of Vukani, the City responded in one line: “The project has been cancelled due to budget constraints”.
Now the giant potholes, some full of water and mud, are a nightmare for motorists and residents alike. “It came to us as a surprise that the City has decided to stop the project. Remember there were already four people that were hired. That means they will lose their jobs,” he said.
But Mr Nqulwana said he has not stopped talking to the City because the potholes get waterlogged and residents have been struggling to get around.
“As you have seen the City has created confusion and a problem. It is difficult to drive here now. Some potholes can be dangerous to children too or anyone walking on the streets at night. All we want is for the city to fix the holes they have dug,” he said.
Badi Street resident Thando Mweni has asked the City to consider their children. He said the growing potholes are a problem especially when it is raining.
“People drive through them without noticing. When they have water, children play in it and at times there are dangerous objects in them. Why did they dig if they cannot fix it? I appeal to them to to be mindful of residents, their cars and children.”
Another resident Noluvyo Mati added: “Our roads are now in a terrible state because of the city. They should have let it be if they knew they would not fix it in time,” she said.
Vukani sent a list of question to the City’s media office, but by the time this edition went to print, the City had not yet responded.