Dug-up streets leave residents fuming

Streets in a Soshanguve section, north of Pretoria, have been left dug up by a contractor, leading to motorists struggling to access their homes. /ANTONIO MUCHAVE/SOWETAN
Streets in a Soshanguve section, north of Pretoria, have been left dug up by a contractor, leading to motorists struggling to access their homes. /ANTONIO MUCHAVE/SOWETAN

Hundreds of Soshanguve residents, north of Pretoria, have been unable to access their homes due to dug-up streets.

The problem affects 10 streets which were meant to be developed into tarred roads.

The residents have been left stranded since September after a contractor abandoned the project due to apparent nonpayment by the Tshwane municipality.

When Sowetan visited the area recently, some of the streets were completely inaccessible for motorists, while others allowed for improvised entry. Commuting residents are forced to walk distances to catch taxis and other public modes of transport.

Speaking to Sowetan, resident Mpho Mokoena said their unbearable situation began in September and they had been sent from pillar to post when they approached the municipality for answers.

Mokoena said they have experienced four months of confusion and frustration as there has been no official communication from the municipality on their situation.

"I had tried to speak to a few contract workers when we started seeing that there was no longer progress on the development and they told me the municipality had not paid," said Mokoena.

He said when it rains the deeply dug roads fill up with water and turn into dangerous mini dams on their doorsteps.

"We fear that children and even the elderly can fall into the water and drown."

Another resident, Johannes Mutheiwana, said he has been without electricity for more than a month because service providers cannot reach him.

"Right now we have been without electricity for over a month and we cannot get help from the technicians because their vehicles cannot access the area. People have been sick and no ambulance can access the place not even the police can't reach us; it's really terrible," Mutheiwana said.

Simphiwe Mthethwa said: "How do they leave us with such deep holes? Our gravel road was better because it was [usable]."

Sowetan contacted City of Tshwane's Klaas Mofomme for comment last week, and he had not responded by the time of going to print.

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