Motorists in townships near Mbombela in Mpumalanga are worried about the state of the road infrastructure
. In Kanyamazane, a bridge is on the brink of collapse because of the persistent rains, while in Pienaar, the roads are in a bad state.
Parts of the province have experienced persistent downpours recently, leaving road infrastructure damaged.
The bridge in question is on the D2296 road between Kanyamazane and Tekwane South. It is a few kilometres from another bridge which collapsed in February last year.
The residents claim they don’t feel safe driving over the bridge. They have appealed to government
to attend to it as a matter of urgency.
“We are living in fear here, the rain might come and wash away this bridge too, we are pleading with the government to intervene, potholes are all over the place. Next week, schools are re-opening and many people will be going back to work, it’s going to be bad.”
In Pienaar, the road to Gedlembane section has been in a bad state for years now. The residents say public transport drops them far from their homes.
“Can the government assist us with the Gedlembane road, it has been more than three years, it is gravel only, it can be washed away by rains, it’s a busy road. The taxis drop us up there, we knock off from work late and get exposed to criminals.”
The City of Mbombela is one of the hardest hit with the recent downpours that have caused a lot of damage to road infrastructure.
Spokesperson Joseph Ngala says the damages amount to millions.
“Our worry is that the rains are continuing, we would like to appeal with the communities to bear with us where possible and report them to their ward councilors, the work is enormous. Some of the work is still outstanding from the previous rains as we know that we have been inundated with rains recently but work continues.”
Spokesperson for the Department of Public, Works, Roads and Transport Bongani Dlamini says engineers have been dispatched to assess the damage across the province.
“The Gedlembane road, the department has completed its design, if we are allocated adequate budget, we are going to construct that road because its a shared responsibility with the City of Mbombela.”
The Department has appealed with the communities to allow contractors to re-gravel the roads as temporary measures. It’s reported that in some areas communities prevent contractors from fixing the roads.