Durban - Councillors in charge of wards north of the city, have been inundated with complaints following the placement of statues alongside the M4 Ruth First Highway.
Pete Graham, Ward 110 councillor, said he and two other councillors who have charge in wards in Durban North, have received complaints from residents.
In the lead up to the ANC Manifesto taking place at the Moses Mabhida Stadium this weekend, statues of past presidents have been placed alongside the highway.
Graham said there has been a significant traffic build up since the statues were placed more than a week ago.
“Some people thinking it is a road block due to slowing traffic and have been seen to be reversing on the M4 to take the Swapo Road offramp,” he said.
Graham said another issue is rubbernecking as it creates a risk to all road users.
“There have also been complaints of people stopping on the northbound highway and walking across the M4 to look at the statues,” Graham said.
He noted that the statues are designed to be looked at and appreciated as they are of the leaders of the ANC over the last 107 years.
“As such by their very existence they are intended to be appreciated. So why put them somewhere where they can only cause mass traffic disruptions? Putting them on the beachfront, the Moses Mabhida Precinct or even outside City Hall would have been far better places to locate them,” he said.
Graham added that anything that creates a situation where a drivers concentration is removed from the act of driving, cannot be placed on a road of this nature. It is simply not allowed in terms of my reading of the Roads Act and city by laws.
Graham further stated that there was no consultation with councillors before the statues were placed.
Meanwhile, eThekwini Municipality has decided to indefinitely postpone the unveiling of the R20 million statues of South Africa’s liberation struggle icons, Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo.
This comes after opposition parties criticised the cost of the statues and said the funds could have been spent on service delivery.