After listening to the frustrations of various Bluewater Bay (Port Elizabeth) community members over the course of about 2 years on having issues at the Bluewater Bay Engen, we feel that getting the community together and publicly addressing the issues at hand is the only way to get a favorable response from Engen Head office.
The issue at hand are the trucks and trailers that are being allowed to use the Engen garage in our suburb. All roads leading to and from the Engen are clearly marked as a 5-ton restricted roads and areas.
Truck drivers are being encouraged to make use of the Engen with the promise of receiving free goods from the shops on the premises. The person making these promises is the owner of the branch.
A summary of some of the reasons that the trucks should not be allowed to come into the area (besides the fact that it’s clearly marked as a 5 ton restricted area):
- Trucks are causing damage to the roads and area surrounding the Engen. The roads and infrastructure were not meant to be used by heavy vehicles on a regular basis. This is clear from the potholes that form and constantly needs to be fixed.
- It causes a safety concern for pedestrians and vehicles that are in the courtyard while a truck is trying to maneuver around. For them to be able to access a pump they have to drive, turn and reverse a number of times before they are in their spot. We are of the opinion that this courtyard and Engen branch was not built to accommodate trucks.
- Vehicles are being blocked in and they are not able to exit from the courtyard.
- Traffic is being affected in the roads leading up to and departing from the Engen garage while a truck is busy maneuvering. There is simply not enough space for the trucks inside the courtyard, so it is inevitable that they block the roads around the Engen as well.
- When there is a truck in the courtyard, and another wants to fill up, the truck is forced to wait in a section of land behind the Engen or illegally park in Weinronk Street. This area behind Engen has been badly eroded, and the roads have suffered damage because they were not meant for heavy vehicles. This causes another safety issue as we recently had a parked truck’s brakes fail. The truck crossed a busy road and drove into a wall of a neighboring shopping complex. It was a miracle that no one was hurt during this incident, as this is one of the main roads in our area for vehicles and pedestrians.
- There is a play park right across from the Engen. Kids use their bicycles and skateboards to get to the park. Even walking and riding on sidewalks becomes a concern when there are trucks in the area.
The issues listed above are excluding all the traffic laws that are being broken each time a truck comes into the area. A list of these contraventions are available on request.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Traffic Department, Swartkops Police Station Representatives, Nelson Mandela Bay Law Enforcement Officers and Bluewater Bay Sector Policing have all tried reasoning with the owner of this Engen branch. On many occassions this has resulted in the officers suffering verbal abuse at the hands of the trucks drivers and Engen employees. Members of the community have lodged complaints using Engen’s website form and telephone numbers. Various fines have been issued to the drivers of the trucks over this time.
Engen Headoffice has in all cases that we know of allowed the owner of the branch to respond directly to the complainants. Unfortunately from what we have seen the responses have included blatant lies. On a daily basis we see an increase in the number of trucks ruining our roads and putting us and our children at risk. It appears to us that our requests to Engen Head office is falling on deaf ears.
We want to quote a piece from your Code Of Conduct, that we’re assuming all branches must adhere to as well:
- Compliance with Local Law
- All employees, contractors and agents of the company comply with applicable laws wherever we operate
By encouraging truck drivers to break the law of the 5 ton restricted area on a daily basis, I would consider this a direct contravention of your Code of Conduct.
You can view our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/engendoesnotcare) that we have put up to start informing people of what is actually happening at the Engen Bluewater Bay. It has photos and stories from our community that we are putting up as well. Hopefully this will bring light to the fact that it’s not a small issue.
This social media engagement is not meant as a threat or as a tactic to shame Engen and we have nothing personal against Engen. We hope that as more people view and share this page in our community that you will see the complaints you are receiving are not isolated incidents and hopefully it will be treated with more seriousness and urgency.
It happens on a daily basis and we hope that something as tragic as driving over someone in the courtyard is not what it will take for this matter to be taken seriously.
On behalf of
Concerned Bluewater Bay Residents
Author: Engen Does Not Care Representative
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