Ga-Rankuwa residents were left fuming and frustrated, this after contractors dug up their streets and left them in a muddy mess. The trenches in their streets were dug up as part of a project to tar the roads and install stormwater drains in Zone 4.
However, the trenches have been particularly frustrating for motorists, who have not been able to drive in or out of their yards because of them. The trenches were dug in various streets following the recent rain falls in the area.
Expressing their frustrations, Ga-Rankuwa residents blasted MMC for Roads and Transport Dikeledi Selowa and her provincial counterpart Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo, for bringing service delivery which was inconveniencing them as it was then impossible for them to access their own yards due to flooded and muddy roads.
According to the unhappy residents, the roads became extremely worse after heavy rainfalls as the ground at entrances to yards had been eroded, and they hoped the problem would be dealt with urgently.
Although they appreciated the city’s efforts to build and construct good roads for them, they did not rule out the fact that they were seriously compromised as they then had to park their cars in the streets or in other people’s yards after the rain flooded the trenches, leaving their cars vulnerable as they were not parked in their own homes.
Pub owner Louis Sekgora said: “My business has not done well because my clients cannot drive here. This is now affecting my livelihood and I can only imagine the frustration of those residents who have had this inconvenience much longer.”
Selowa inspected the work as construction vehicles filled the trenches and made the engineers assure residents that by the end of Monday they would have cleared the flooded areas and made the roads drivable.
She further said that they were building about 5km of roads and stormwater infrastructure because the area had not had it. The area had a bit of a slight high water table and the ground soil was very muddy and moist. A 3.5km of stormwater infrastructure had been laid and it was just compacting the ground back together.
“I visited the area to ensure all safety precautions were followed to avoid instances of children being injured in the areas where work was under way and to also ensure that the process of providing a service did not negatively affect the community.
“The contractor had to compact the ground in three stages before tarring it, and the contractor was willing to make its construction camp site available for parking to residents who were unable to drive into their yards during construction,” said Selowa.
Mamabolo said the residents approached him about the issue over the weekend, when a team from the provincial government was maintaining and fixing the roads.
He said,”We agreed that the engineering methodology and approach used were flawed because trenches had been dug in many areas and left open, while it took workers 60 days to complete work along a 200 metre stretch of road. This was in addition to needing to test the soil, which took 14 days.
“The workers should not dig up so many areas and leave trenches open as this created an insecure environment for children and motorists”.
In conclusion, Mamabolo conceded that the approach taken showed they did not undertake a proper risk analysis, did not take the rain into account, and did not erect sufficient signage.