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eThekwini, Department of Transport get go-ahead to work together on road maintenance

Some communities are taking it upon themselves to fix damaged roads in Durban. Picture supplied

Some communities are taking it upon themselves to fix damaged roads in Durban. Picture supplied

Published Jul 4, 2022

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Durban — The eThekwini Municipality will enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport (DOT) to co-ordinate road maintenance.

A report from the eThekwini governance and human resources committee was approved at the eThekwini council meeting on Thursday. The MOU hopes to stimulate co-operative governance with regard to maintenance and cleanliness of the provincial roads located within the municipal boundaries and with the MOU to deal with issues relating to progress tracking, conflict management, dispute resolution and smooth implementation of distinct or concurrent functions that require co-ordinated efforts.

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During consideration at the executive committee, mention was made that the DOT is at times unsuccessful in terms of maintaining roads that fell within its jurisdiction, resulting in the municipality taking over the responsibility.

Authority has been granted for the Head of Intergovernmental Relations to facilitate the establishment of an overarching MOU that will serve as the platform from which detailed service-level agreement or terms of reference, with clear roles, responsibilities, expected joint deliverables, timelines and financial implications will be developed.

Authority was also granted for the head of engineering to finalise a set of detailed service-level agreements, terms of reference, proposed roles and responsibilities matrix, expected joint deliverables, timelines and synergised financial implications and commitments.

The report stated that the proposed usage of the MOU would enhance accountability and working relations between the municipality and the province with regard to the road network.

DA councillor Caelee Laing said they could list all the roads that were neglected in the city. She said this caused hazardous situations for road users and residents.

“It is high time responsibility is taken and jurisdiction is finalised. We request it is implemented with priority. We must also get updates to the council when the MOU is completed,” she said.

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Minority Front councillor Sunitha Maharaj said the matter was also raised in the provincial legislature. She said that during oversight visits the distinction between municipal and provincial boundaries found roads under neglect or lack of ownership to maintenance.

“Residents suffer the hardships and don’t know who to complain to.”

The Independent on Saturday (IOS) reported that the municipality encouraged residents to report all infrastructure that needed to be repaired but discouraged them from repairing infrastructure themselves.

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Municipal spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said the city would try to respond to complaints as soon as it could.

The IOS reported that people have been taking matters into their own hands and using money out of their own pockets to repair several roads, bridges and buildings that were destroyed in the floods.

Hannes Coetzee, the owner of a Spar franchise in Thabazimbi, Limpopo, began selling bitumen to people who were “gatvol” and wanted to fill the potholes in the roads where they lived.

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In May, community activist Zain Soosiwala co-ordinated the repair of several potholes on the N3 and in the Overport area. He said in some instances, existing potholes turned into sinkholes and burst the tyres of motor vehicles.

When the Daily News emailed the eThekwini Municipality in May to get their response on the community repairing potholes on the N3, none was forthcoming.

Last week the Westville info group reported that resident Geoff Goldswain and his team were doing all the road markings at the intersection of Lancaster and Dudley roads “before we have a serious accident here”.

Daily News

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