Villagers fix giant potholes themselves

“Waiting for the municipality has brought us no joy,” says Madibeng resident

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Itireleng village residents, under the Madibeng Local Municipality in the North West, have fixed a gravel road in their community. They say they have been asking the municipality to fix it for years. Photos: Chris Gilili

Residents of Itireleng village, which falls under the Madibeng Local Municipality in the North West, have started fixing pothole-ridden roads in their community. They say their pleas for upgraded road infrastructure have been falling on deaf ears at the municipality for years.

According to residents, the main gravel road into their village is littered with potholes and despite promises to fix it, nothing has been done to date.

At the weekend, community leader Lebohang Rufino was among 30 other residents who rolled up their sleeves to try and close some of the potholes and built a drainage pathway to make it easier to use the road during flooding.

Rufino said people were becoming increasingly frustrated about the poor condition of Freedom Street, especially complaints by taxi drivers who are more frequently refusing to pick up people in the village.

“There is no movement from the municipality regarding the state of our roads.” One huge pothole was filled with water and could be dangerous, he said. “We want to make our village a better place.”

Rufino said some community members gave R50 or more, while others donated cement bags, underground pipes or their time working on the road.

The residents also built a drainage pathway to make it easier to use the road during flooding.

Another resident Keleabetsoe Mashike said: “The government always disappoints us on service delivery issues. Community members of Itireleng fixed our own main road mainly so that taxis can access passengers without damage to their taxis.”

She said many residents had contributed towards buying material to fix the road. “Being united like that makes me happy because we ought to do some things by ourselves. Waiting for the municipality has brought us no joy. I’m truly humbled by Itireleng doing this themselves,” said Mashike.

Ward 95 Councillor Fenky Phaloane (ANC) claims that the Madibeng Local Municipality has included the paving of Freedom Street in its budget. Phaloane said he plans to meet officials at the Project Management Unit in Madibeng to ask when the road will be fixed.

GroundUp’s questions to the municipality had not been answered by the time of publication.

TOPICS:  Government

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