A repair now a hazard


Von Brandis Street is one of Mkhondo’s busiest roads, covered with trees that supply a cooling shade to the roadway. Recently there was a water drainage pipe fixed in this street, but to the dismay of motorists using this roadway, it has unfortunately become a hindrance to drive on.

The road had to be dug up to repair the pipe and when the repairs were done, the trench in the road was only filled with sand. At first it ended up becoming a sort of speed bump but it has escalated to a gaping ditch that runs across the road. This causes motorists travelling on this road to have to be more cautious and more susceptible to damage from the unforeseen impact of this ditch. Another case of this exact nature also occurred in Schutte Street. A new house has been built and the water drainage from the house required these same steps.

According to www.openbylaws.org.za any excavations made over or in a road have to be cut linearly and smoothly. All excavated material and equipment must be placed and demarcated in such a way as to cause the minimum disruption to vehicles and pedestrians. A safe passage must be kept open for pedestrians at all times. Adequate preventative measures must be taken to ensure that no water (e.g. due to rain) flows into the open trenches since this will result in the weakening of the structural layers of the road. Any water that is present in a trench must be pumped out before filling. Water must be pumped into the stormwater system and not into a sewer manhole. Any material that has become wet must be removed from the bottom of the trench before filling.

If an excavation is made through entrances to properties, access must be maintained by using steel plates, planks or other temporary bridges of sufficient strength and properly secured against movement. The occupants of the properties must be kept informed at all times of how their access will be affected.

As you can clearly see in these photos, the trenches next to the road have yet to be filled up, as it runs the risk of injuring pedestrians that use this walkway. It also holds the danger of having unforeseen objects or rubbish go into the pipeline systems, leading to clogged pipes and once again interrupted water feed.