Choking and losing visibility in the dust

Vehicles travelling with their headlights due to the dust on Walnut Road. Photo: Siso Naile.

 

The road collapse on Peter Road this week exposed the grim reality endured by residents residing on detour routes.

Cypress, Walnut and Chestnut Roads were used by motorists avoiding the collapsed portion of Peter Road near Walnut Road.

Countless vehicles are using these dirt roads every minute of the day, raising clouds of dust. This has resulted in an outcry from the residents living on the ring road, especially those living on Cypress Road.

The residents raised concerns about health risks and also posed the question about the surfacing of the roads as they’ve lived on these dirt roads for a prolonged period.

Read the initial article here: Motorists cautioned about collapsed road

“We have lived here for 31 years and we still have no idea what our rates are spent on. When it rains, the roads become a riverbed. The rest of the year, a large number of pedestrians choke in the extreme dust,” said Leonie Gerber, one of the residents, who lashed out about the lack of services in their area.

A Northsider reporter took a drive along Walnut Road and noted that most vehicles had their headlights on as the dust hung in the air like thin smoke, obstructing visibility for all.

Johannesburg Roads Agency spokesperson, Bertha Peters-Scheepers, responded on the services issue. “JRA conducts regular road Visual Condition Index assessments across all the city’s roads. Based on the assessment and available budget for road resurfacing and reconstruction, a list of prioritised roads is compiled for work in that current financial year,” she explained.

She added, “In the past financial year (2017/ 18) the JRA prioritised main arterial routes for resurfacing. Until such time as Walnut and Cypress are resurfaced, the JRA will continue maintaining the road and ensuring it is safe for travel through pothole repairs and other maintenance measures”.

The MMC for Economic Development and Ward 97 councillor, Leah Knott, also gave her perspective on the matter. “The area is largely agricultural holdings on that side and a portion of that ward falls outside the urban development boundary,” she explained.

“We had a meeting on this last year with JRA and put in a petition for surfacing of some of the roads,” she continued.

Leah also attributed this situation to the residents because of their lack of interest in attending public meetings. “Residents also need to participate in the Integrated Development Plan (IDP). Ward 97 had zero submissions or resident attendance at the last IDP session,” she said.

Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at northsider@caxton.co.za  (remember to include your contact details) or phone us on 011 955 1130.

For free daily local news on the West Rand, also visit our sister newspaper websites 

Roodepoort Record

Randfontein Herald

Krugersdorp News 

Get It Joburg West Magazine

  AUTHOR
Siso Naile
Journalist

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