A bumpy future for Newcastle’s roads?

It took over a month for a massive pothole on Montague Street (Paradise) to be filled in.

How has the reduced budget affected road maintenance?

This is the theme of a series of questions addressed to the Newcastle Municipality through its Communications Unit recently, questions which still have no answers.

Instead, roads across town are bearing the brunt of the situation.

Motorists as well as readers of the Newcastle Advertiser should be no stranger to the unfortunate abundance of rutted, potholed and otherwise damaged road surfaces.

This has been covered extensively in editions over the past few years.

What has residents and motorists upset however is the examples of situations where road maintenance simply does not occur.

One such example is Montague Street in Paradise.

A pothole reported in March was eroded away by frequent traffic to the extent where motorists had to navigate around the sizeable hole in the tarmac.

This matter was finally attended to at the end of April.

The questions posed by the Advertiser to the municipality dealt specifically with the prioritisation of road maintenance, given the limited provision of R45.1-million on the Draft Budget for such repairs.

“While it is well understood that this provision is far less than the norm of [eight per cent of] our total budget, this was provided on the basis of availability as the budget is income based,” Mayor, Makhosini Nkosi said at his presentation of the Draft Budget over a month ago.

In addition, the municipality was requested to explain how roads already awaiting repairs would be addressed and what alternatives were being sought.

At the time of going to print however, there was no response.

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Bruce Douglas

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