Dolphin Coast roads at breaking point

The intersection of the P445 and the R102 at Ballito Compensation is a potholed mess.

The DA in KwaDukuza are outraged at the KZN transport department’s blatant disregard and the ongoing lack of road repair on the Dolphin Coast roads.

Frustration and fury mounts as both residents and KwaDukuza councillors wait for answers from the transport department (DOT) on road work projects that have been on the council’s agenda for up to five years.

Also read: Dolphin Coast roads fall apart at the seams

DA ward 6 and 22 councillors Tammy Colley and Malcolm Hubner said the situation is getting out of control where roads are struggling to accommodate the rapid development that is taking place.

“KwaDukuza is one of the fastest growing municipalities in the country. A recent local traffic study found that traffic volumes have increased from 3000 cars a day to 18000 cars a day, over the last three years,” said Hubner.

The councillors said their concerns were regarding potholes, pedestrian crossings and robots in Ballito, Salt Rock, Umhlali and Sheffield.

“The first area of concern is the intersection of the P445 and the R102 at Ballito Compensation. The second is the road between the R102 and Salt Rock that leads through the Umhlali Village up to the N2 and then east into Salt Rock.

“This whole road is littered with potholes and damaged road surfaces. There is also a circle in the centre of Umhlali Village that is in a continual state of disrepair. The contractors who fix this section of the road are completely out of their depth in resolving the situation as it is repaired and lasts exactly a week or so until the next rains and reverts to the same state.

“Further up that road, there is the off-ramp from the N2 into Umhlali and Salt Rock. This on and off ramp has no traffic control and is majorly congested daily with traffic backing up onto the highway.

“Traffic measurement studies have been conducted by consultants in conjunction with SANRAL, DOT and the KwaDukuza municipality and their report contains recommendations that this area needs to have traffic lights installed to regulate the traffic volumes.

“Next is where Fox Hill Road intersects with Salt Rock Road at the Sasol Garage. This road carries all the traffic to Tiffany’s Shopping Centre both in and out in an east-west direction as well as all traffic making use of the Sasol Garage.”

Hubner said the roads belonged to the transport department and not KDM.

In the past year, three meetings between KDM and DOT have failed due to DOT officials reportedly being unprepared.

However, KZN DOT KwaDukuza Cost Centre acting deputy director Gerald Perumal said he was not aware of any meetings between KDM and the DOT.

“The matter of pothole repairs is being reported to the KwaDukuza Cost Centre for investigating and actioned as required,” he said.

DA shadow MEC for transport Mohammed Rafeek Sayedali said the problem arose due to a lack of synergy between the local and provincial government.

“It would make sense for the department to sit down with municipalities where there is rapid development and prioritise funds to those areas that are crucial for economic development, like Ballito.”

Sayedali said he would be escalating the matter to provincial legislature and the MEC for transport.

“DOT needs to communicate their plans with communities.

“Their main challenge is the budget.

“In KZN there are about 32 000 kilometres of roads of which only 8100 is tarred. About 24 000km is gravel. There is a constant demand from communities for roads to be fixed. For the 2017/2018 financial year, the DOT has a budget of R9.96 billion.

“73 per cent goes toward road infrastructure. About R1.2 billion goes to the rehabilitation of roads. R2.1 billion goes toward maintenance and another R3.4 billion is for the maintenance of existing infrastructure. Little is left to resurface or build new roads.”

KDM media liaison officer Sipho Mkhize said DOT presented plans for fixing the roads to the KDM three months ago.

“They are now in their new financial year and we cannot speak on their behalf in saying when those projects will be completed. We do not yet know what their roll-out plan is.”

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Erica Abrahams

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