Makana drivers eye claims pot

Potholes. File picture
Potholes. File picture
Image: SowetanLIVE

The Makana Municipality could face dozens of claims for damage to vehicles due to the abundant potholes that riddle the roads, particularly in Grahamstown.

The Grahamstown Resident’s Association has put in place a “how to” recipe for citizens to claim against the municipality in the event people suffer injury or damage as a direct result of potholes.

If damage is caused to your car or your person, says the association on social media, a letter should be sent to roads manager Mtutuzeli Mhlaba explaining what happened, where it happened and photographs of the damage caused.

Minor claims require one quote, major claims three.

Association secretary Tim Bull said that while it would do its bit to assist the municipality, citizens should not be made to suffer financial losses as a result of the pothole crisis.

It was with this in mind that it had put together the recipe for citizens to claim against the municipality.

Grahamstown’s potholes have become a national joke. Some years back Rhodes University students and others began planting trees and other pot plants in potholes to draw attention to the problem.

But the municipality is broke and it is estimated it would cost well over a R1-billion to properly repair its holey road network. Failure to maintain the roads has led to such substantial damage that vast areas of require complete resurfacing.

The city, which annually hosts several prominent arts, cultural, science and other festivals, faces dozens of problems apart from its ubiquitous and sizeable potholes.

Its sanitation, water and electricity networks and infrastructure are in a dire state, leading to frequent pipe bursts, severe sewerage leaks and electricity outages. The city is also drowning in rubbish, with informal rubbish heaps springing up in suburban areas and next to schools.

So severe are the problems the municipality faces that Cooperative Governance Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize and his provincial counterpart Fikile Xasa will meet affected stakeholders in Grahamstown today to ascertain what interventions the provincial and national governments could implement to assist the ailing municipality.

The Sarah Baartman District Municipality has also seconded its municipal manager Ted Pillay to Makana to try to map a way out of the mess. The state of the roads is also on the agenda.

According to a report which forms part of the discussions, the municipality faces a huge pothole crisis which would cost in the vicinity of R1.2-billion to remedy.

The municipality had not responded to a written and telephonic request for comment at the time of writing.