Pretoria - Motorists and commuters have grown frustrated at townships roads covered in potholes that seem to worsen over time and whenever it rains.
While the City of Tshwane and the Gauteng Department of Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure waged war on potholes for many motorists maintenance does not seem fast enough.
With rains, the roads become worse as the potholes deepen and some repaired potholes open up again, especially in old roads that lack proper stormwater infrastructure to ensure the water flows off the road.
Moreover, Mabopane and Soshanguve have seen a spike in service protests in the last month, which resulted in tyres burnt on some of the busiest roads like the Klipgat Road, Lucas Mangope Road (M21), Hebron Road, the M17 towards Ga-Rankuwa and the R20 between Rosslyn and Soshanguve.
This is a habit condemned by the MMC for Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure, Jacob Mamabolo, for its damage to road infrastructure, and how it defeats interventions by the government to maintain road infrastructure across the province.
Driving school owner Micheal Bopape said: "These potholes are getting out of control now and it almost feels like we are becoming like the North West province where there are so many potholes people have just given up and accepted them as a norm. At some point people became so angry and planted trees inside the potholes to humiliate their government."
Taxi driver Keketso Ledwaba said he honestly believed there were more potholes in the townships than in the suburbs and the more affluent areas.
"When we have congested traffic during peak hours we drive inside the suburban areas and honestly their roads are 10 times better than the roads we use the most in the township. Maybe it is because there are fewer people and fewer cars in the suburbs or it is because those communities pay for rates and services.
“Nonetheless, these potholes kill our cars. We are forever replacing wheel-bearings and sometimes you lose tyres that are still in good condition because of these potholes."
MMC for Roads and Transport Dikeledi Selowa said the City of Tshwane has actually waged a war on potholes in all its seven regions and it is bringing in technology-led solutions and producing more asphalt to repair potholes.
She said they started in region two, ward 96, where they are involving the Expanded Public Works Programme and teams from other regions, and ensuring that the City's production of asphalt is enough to ensure the safety of every motorist and cyclist on the roads.
"We have been embarking on service delivery and ensuring that we turn around the situation in the City by ensuring that there is co-operation between the regions and the buy-in of the regions to ensure that our roads are safe for every single commuter."
Selowa said in ward 96 where the campaign started, they resurface portions of the road instead of just filling the potholes.
The campaign is spreading across all regions of the City and it will including the rehabilitation of roads that need that kind of work.