GO!Durban construction along Dinkleman Road in New Germany has ground to a halt for five months, with no indication when it will resume. Picture: Nqobile Mbonambi/African News Agency (ANA)
Durban - Motorists, residents, councillors and taxi associations are fed up with the state of GO!Durban construction in the city.

GO!Durban is a transport network with eight dedicated bus routes and one rail route to be constructed over a number of years to improve public transport.

The first phase was set to be completed by this year. The planned operational year for C3, part of Pinetown, is 2018.

Mandla Nsele, eThekwini Municipality’s acting head of communications, said construction in Pinetown had been halted for about five months. He hoped construction on the remaining sections of the C3 route would resume as soon as possible.

“The C3 route from Pinetown to KwaMashu is almost complete. Construction was halted for the city to resolve some stakeholder issues specific to that area. Construction on the C1 route from Newlands to Umgeni Business Park has begun. Construction on the C9 bridge over the N2 and interchange is complete, and the C9 route from uMhlanga to KwaMashu will begin in the next month or so,” Nsele said.

“Due to work stoppages on the C3 route, plans are being revised, and project dates will be communicated at a later stage,” he said.

Graham Rice, 69, works in Pinetown and said the roads were a mess because of the project.

“It looks as if everyone downed tools and just walked off,” Rice said. “There is no barrier tape around the work areas and people walking in the dark could fall into the trenches and get hurt.

“I don’t feel safe driving in the area because it’s dangerous,” he said.

Wellington Mkhombe, Clermont and KwaDabeka Taxi Association secretary, said there had been five or six accidents involving taxis from their association along Dinkleman Road, which goes to Clermont and New Germany.

“The area to drive on is very small and there is the problem of people crossing the street; they get run over,” Mkhombe said.

“We’re not happy. Even though GO!Durban affects us directly, we’re not getting anything from the eThekwini Metro Taxi Council and the municipality,” he said.

Ward 21 councillor Mfanufikile Qwabe said many accidents had happened in the area because of the construction.

“People cannot access Clermont because of how the construction area has been left. They cannot cross the road safely from New Germany to Clermont.” His understanding was that construction stopped because of the taxi industry’s protests, including that it was losing money because of the lack of taxi stops.

“Locals from New Germany, Clermont, KwaDabeka and Sub 5 were employed on the project, but now there is no more income for them,” he said.

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