by Daleen van Manen
All of a sudden the municipality found money and manpower to fill potholes, paint the invisible lines on our roads and even fix walkways. However, not any old road, only those that will be used by the more than 9 000 expected athletes taking part in the Old Mutual ultra marathon on Saturday.
It’s been a flurry of activity the past week. The strangest thing was that the first activity was the paving of the walkways on Boem Crescent between Ifafi and Meerhof. Residents found it hilarious, seeing that most residents drive on the walkways here as the road is too bad to negotiate. When questioned why the potholes are not filled instead, the workers said they only knew about fixing the side of the road, not the middle.
When the Kormorant enquired about this seemingly strange activity and was told that the potholes would also be repaired before Saturday, the penny finally dropped. The Marathon of course!
By Wednesday, workers had tackled Schoemansville streets, filing potholes with generous humps of tar, and painting beautiful clear white lines here and on the R511.
Now, we wonder where the tar has suddenly come from. And the manpower, and the paint for that matter. And the decision to in fact do something.
For the past year, residents, the newspapers, the ward councillors and everyone who is involved, have pleaded, begged, threatened and ranted about the state of these same roads. Without even a whimper of a response. Not from the local municipality, and not from the provincial government. All we heard was something about promised money from the province to fix the roads. And then nothing more.
Not even serious accidents could get the powers to be to respond to the dire state of our roads. And now a sports event rustles up the spit and polish to quickly window dress the relevant areas.
It is not completely clear why only certain roads are fixed. Is it because the powers to be think that the thousands of visitors will not see the state of the other roads, or is it that they are only fixing those the runners will use to prevent claims against them should one of the athletes break a leg hitting a pothole?
Whatever the reason, I suppose we should be thankful for the activity this week. Like a resident suggested, maybe we should present a national event in different areas regularly to motivate the authorities to keep up the good work.