The rehabilitation and maintenance of roads particularly those that are older than their design lifespan of 20 years is now under question. This is as road users of the D414 Road, between Disaneng and Tshidilamolo villages in the North West are appalled by the state of the road which they allege has not been maintained in 23 years.
Communities say public transport has stopped using the road, affecting those who rely on it for their daily travelling. They say their concerns are falling on deaf ears, as they allege that the provincial Department of Public Works has not responded to their concerns regarding the road.
The 25km stretch D414 road between Disaneng and Tshidilamolomo villages is visibly worn out. It is the main and the busiest road between the two villages. It also stretches several hundred kilometres to the town of Bray, in the hinterland of the province.
One of Ratlou councillors, Douglas Gaasenwe says the potholes have allegedly forced public transport to cease using the road.
“This road is in a very bad condition so the scholar transport and taxis are no longer using this road. So people are suffering. We are living in villages, so most of our roads are very bad,” says Gaasenwe.
Driving on the road is more than frustrating to most motorists. This is what they had to say
“This road is damaging our cars. Car shocks, tyres, CV joints. If it’s brand new, the story is different three months later,” says a motorist.
“This road is very bad. We end up servicing our cars every month,” another motorist elaborates.
“We tried to write to the department but they ignored us,” another motorist explains.
The condition of the road is equally a nightmare to the local residents.
“Medicine transport not coming by for the past two months when it’s raining, transport can’t come by,” a resident explains.
“Even if you want to go to Mafikeng, you drive three hours to town, which is bad,” another resident elaborates.
After alleged countless requests to authorities to address the unbearable condition of the road by residents, finally the provincial Department of Public Works has included the road in its priority list, for the 2022/2023 financial year.
“Road number D414 which is the road from Disaneng to Tshidilamolomo is due for sectional rehabilitation patch work and pothole patching. We hope to get the contractor on site once all procurement processes are concluded. The road is definitely on the B5 list of priorities for Ngaka Modiri Molema,” says Matshube Mfoloe, spokesperson of the Department.
The national Department of Transport says approximately 40 percent of the North West and 80 percent of the national roads network is now older than their 20-year design lifespan.