R30m to plug KWT potholes ‘as big as graves’

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R30-million will be spent on plugging holes in roads in King William’s Town – and for Noxolo Tshaphu, it’s about time.

She told road-tripping Buffalo City Metro mayor Xola Pakati on Tuesday: “The potholes in Phakamisa are no longer just potholes, they are like graves now.”

BCM mayor Xola Pakati

Pakati was hosting his first mayoral imbizo in the King William’s Town town hall.

He told a crowd of hundreds that BCM had set aside the R30-million to fix roads in the town in in wards 25, 34, 36, 38, 39, 40, 41, 43, 44 and 45.

In all his statements on how much money BCM was allocating, it was explained the funds would be spent in the current financial year, which ends in June 2018.

The move has given hope to some residents who have been complaining about the poor state of some roads in the metro.

Pakati said: “R7-million has been allocated for the gravel roads programme with a specific focus on improving rural wards 25, 34, 36 and 40 and R8-million has been allocated for the gravelling of rural roads in the coming year for wards 36, 25, 38, 40 and 41.”

Pakati also promised residents that the city would provide electricity, water and ablution facilities to those without them.

The mayor told residents R36-million was to be invested in housing development in the inland region. This has been allocated to Ilitha North, Tyutyu Phase 3, Peelton Cluster 2, Hanover and Skobeni.

In order to make water more accessible to King William’s Town residents and reduce water losses, he said the metro had committed R29-million towards replacement of water distribution networks, R33-million for the replacement of bulk water mains and R11-million for other improvements over the next three years.

“We appeal to our communities to use water responsibly because of the prevailing drought conditions,” he said.

Ward 25 resident Noxolo Tshaphu, who was at the meeting, applauded the metro for projects in her ward, but emphasised the roads needed urgent attention.

“If the roads can be given attention like they are in the urban areas no one would complain again,” Tshaphu said.

“We are thankful that in Zwelitsha the roads have been tarred but we are now asking for speed humps and sidewalks,” she said.

Other residents from other wards also complained of bad roads, lack of housing development, jobs and crime.

Ward 40 resident Lulama Mangali lambasted Pakati for failing to mention any plans for disabled people.

“There has been nothing mentioned about disabled people but they are also human beings, they have value.

“I have a disabled child in a wheelchair and we live in a house that was destroyed by a disaster in 2009. No help was ever given to us,” said the crying Mangali.

Mangali gave her details to human settlement portfolio head councillor Ntombizandile Mhlola, who was tasked to address her grievances. — mamelag@dispatch.co.za

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