Road dug up to prevent speeding

Luyanda Myaluza was one of the pupils who demonstrated in Samora Machel where residents set tyres alight to demand that speed bumps and pedestrian crossings be put in place along Weltevreden Road. Picture: Neil Baynes

Luyanda Myaluza was one of the pupils who demonstrated in Samora Machel where residents set tyres alight to demand that speed bumps and pedestrian crossings be put in place along Weltevreden Road. Picture: Neil Baynes

Published May 12, 2011

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Samora Machel residents were so desperate to put an end to vehicles speeding on Weltevreden Road and Oliver Tambo Drive, that they dug up part of the road on Wednesday calling for speed bumps and pedestrian crossings to be put in place.

Residents say children, who have to cross the road to get to school, are particularly in danger. They say five children have already been run over, while one was killed by a speeding vehicle.

About 300 people, most of them pupils from Samora Machel Primary, barricaded Weltevreden Road with burning tyres.

At about 7am, pupils marched along the road before being joined by a group of older residents.

Tyres were set alight, and vehicles on the way to Colorado Park or coming from Mitchells Plain had to use alternative routes.

About six SAPS vehicles, including a helicopter and four metro police vehicles, were dispatched to the scene to monitor the protest.

Samora Machel School principal Shirley Koti said many pupils who live in Kosovo informal settlement had to cross the road to get to school.

She said after an accident where a child was hit by a car, the city’s Road Safety Management said they would help the community with the implementation of speed bumps and pedestrian crossings.

“Parents decided in a meeting on Monday that they have had enough of this waiting and said they wanted to picket,” Koti said.

Community leader Alpheus Ndima said they had taken up the issue with ward 75 councillor Natalie Bent in 2008 after a hit-and-run on the road.

She told them that she would look into the matter, he said, but Bent could not be reached for comment.

“They do acknowledge that there is a problem but they never attend to it. Obviously they don’t take this thing seriously. A lot of the children will keep dying if the City of Cape Town is not doing anything about this.

“We will not stop until they listen to us,” Ndima said.

They were expected to continue to demonstrate on Thursday if their demands were not met.

Noluthando Mabutho, who lives in Kosovo, which is located along the road, said residents had previously demonstrated with the same demands about two years ago.

“We have to cross this road every day because there are few taps here, so we have to go to the other side and it’s very risky.

“Cars come speeding down this road from the bridge. Sometimes they hit people and leave them,” Mabutho said.

The city’s head of transport network development, Sean Glass, said they had received an application for Oliver Tambo Drive.

However, he said speed bumps were not appropriate for that road.

He said they were not permitted in terms of the City’s Traffic Calming Policy.

“The Transport Department is, however, willing to investigate the need for additional measures such as pedestrian crossings,” Glass said. - Cape Times

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