By SISIPHO ZAMXAKA and ZIKHONA MOYIKWA
There have been mounting concerns about the roadworks that have come to a halt in East London’s city centre, posing danger to motorists and pedestrians.
The reconstruction of Oxford Street between Terminus and St George’s streets has left warped, uneven road levels ,causing confusion among motorists and pedestrians, who treat the resurfaced part of the road as both a pavement and an extra lane.
The Daily Dispatch had a walkabout in the CBD. There are no markings on the road, stormwater drains are exposed and there are no signs warning people of roadworks.
BCM spokesman Samkelo Ngwenya said they were turning many parts of the city into “construction sites” as they carried out road maintenance and upgrades.
However, this has not been the case in Mdantsane. In NU16, a construction company hired to tar some roads has left one of the roads in a far worse state, much to the annoyance and inconvenience of residents.
Nyoni Projects was roped in by BCM in August to tar roads in NU16, but residents say the company simply dug up the road and disappeared. They said the firm had admitted it was having financial difficulties.
As a result of the distressed surface, scholar transport cannot pick up pupils next to their homes when it rains because the road becomes untenable.
Potholes put children in danger and cars get damaged by the road.
Concerned resident Raymond Kontyo said he’d had to dig deep in his pocket to fix his vehicle.
“I have been visiting the councillor regularly to pressure him to help,” said Kontyo.
Ward 23 councillor Xolani Simandla said the situation was equally frustrating for him.
“Our biggest challenge is that the company hired to do the construction work is in a financial crisis. Now we are waiting on BCM to check out the future of this company or hire another one. We are waiting on BCM to intervene so that people’s grievances can be attended to,” Simandla said.
Ngwenya said the works on Oxford Street – which included milling, raising meter boxes and resurfacing the road – were due for completion on October 15, weather permitting.
“They are part of the metro’s roads masterplan that is set to continue in the 2017 and 2018 financial year,” he said.
Asked why the roadworks on Oxford have been suspended for more than two weeks, Ngwenya said it was because of the weather. “We do not want to put pedestrians and motorists at risk.”
Commenting on the NU16 project, Ngwenya said the city had issued two warning letters to the contractor about its slow progress.
Several attempts to source a comment from the company proved fruitless yesterday.