By Barbara Hollands
SOME of the worst potholes on suburban streets in the Eastern Cape can be found in the affluent seaside hamlet of Gonubie, outside East London, where residents have likened the gaping crevasses to “a battlefield of bomb craters”.
Some roads in the densely populated community are so blistered with deep potholes that they are impossible to dodge. The mere suggestion of repair has been dismissed out of hand and some locals say not even a 4×4 is adequate to handle the dongas.
“It has never been this bad,” Gonubie Ratepayers’ Association chairman Rex Jordan said. “Some roads are so bad that even repairing the potholes would be short-sighted – the streets need to be ripped up and rebuilt.”
Jordan said 17th Avenue looked like “a stretch of battlefield in El Alamein in World War 2 … They are bomb craters, not potholes, and everyone is fed up with them because so many tyres are being damaged.”
Resident Clyde Grobbelaar said the situation was “ridiculous”. “They are massive and some say mozzies are breeding in them. Every resident needs to purchase a 4×4, but even they have hassles. Every now and then the municipality patches some of them, but when it rains the filling is washed out again. So many people have complained, but nothing gets done.”
Jordan explained many Gonubie roads had been built without foundations years before the suburb’s burgeoning popularity.
“They only had a thin asphalt skin to keep the dust down and are now about 20 years past their sell-by date because no maintenance has been done on the roads.
“There was a countrywide shortage of bitumen until recently, but that has now been resolved so I am anticipating the potholes will be fixed because they are dangerous craters.
“I hope BCM gets a contractor with a jet patcher machine which can fix between 80 and 100 potholes a day.”
BCM spokesman Keith Ngesi did not respond to Weekend Post queries by the time of going to press.
This is a shortened version of an article that first appeared in the print edition of Weekend Post on Saturday April 14, 2012.