Rocky road woes for Summer Greens

Residents say this pothole is getting bigger and more dangerous for motorists in Soldier Way, Summer Greens.

Potholes, cracks and flooding are plaguing roads in Summer Greens just two months after extensive municipal roadworks there, say residents.

The contractors fixed potholes and resealed the roads during a project in April, but now the suburb’s roads look worse than they did before the work started, say the residents who complain that the poor state of the roads is just one of many problems in the area, including pipe bursts, illegal boarding houses, crime, vagrancy and overcrowding.

“I don’t want to be that person that always complains and tries to put down other places, but the fact is that our community shouldn’t be overrun by such problems,” said resident Anele Khwatsha.

“We pay so much rates, rent and bonds for our homes and properties for us to be living in a rundown area. There’s rubbish in our streets, our parks have people drinking alcohol and smoking drugs, there’s a sewage burst in every other street, potholes, and so on. The problems keep on mounting. Something needs to be done to fix this. We appreciate efforts by the City in trying to solve issues that arise. However, more can be done, I feel.”

Another resident, Paul Fitz, posted in one of the Summer Greens Facebook groups about his dissatisfaction.

“The amount of broken roads and potholes in the area of Summer Greens is a sight for sore eyes and dangerous to use for both vehicles and pedestrians. Some have been like that for several months and others even years, many left unfixed and in ruins after council maintenance or repair jobs. I was told it is because residents don’t bring it to the attention of the councillors. This is contrary to what councillors were saying all along that they regularly walk the streets of Summer Greens and know exactly what is going on.”

The Summer Greens Residents’ Association (SGRA) and councillor Anthony Benadie blame overcrowding for the infrastructure problems.

“Yes, we are experiencing problems with some potholes and water leaks, but the root of the problem leading to these water leaks and other infrastructure breakdown is overcrowding,” said SGRA chairwoman Bridgette Lloyd.

“The influx of people is too great, and our community doesn’t have the capacity to hold the amount of people currently living here. Recently we had work done on some of our roads – resurfacing, etc. However, some roads weren’t done, and those are the ones with potholes and water leaks. Yes, those need to be dealt with.”

Soldier Way was notorious for potholes, she said, adding that she had asked the City to attend to streets that had not yet been resurfaced.

Mr Benadie said potholes reported through the C3 notification system were usually dealt with immediately.

“Pipe bursts are also dealt with as quickly as possible. These are largely caused by ageing infrastructure and, most importantly, overcrowding. Anyone who has any service-delivery issues can contact me directly. I was there on Saturday and I noticed a few roads that were not resealed during the recent project and those are the ones with the pothole issues,” he said.

Another resident, Thomas Nienaber, said the councillor and City needed to put a stop to the overcrowding.

“Since this is one of the main reasons for a lot of our infrastructure issues, there should be stricter by-laws to deter owners from having 10 families live on one property. Their bins get full, the rubbish blows into the streets and in our sewer system, then we have blocked drains which leads to water leaks, which leads to these cracks and potholes. It’s very dangerous for motorists and pedestrians.”

A big pothole on Summer Greens Drive was repaired at the weekend. Residents say there have been a few near misses as cars tried to avoid the ditch for the past few weeks.
In mid April, the City carried out road resurfacing in some streets of Summer Greens