Cen­tre protests threat to liveli­hood

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - NEWS - MUR­RAY SWART STAFF RE­PORTER

MEM­BERS of the com­mu­nity of Yon­der have taken to the streets in protest as a dam­aged road to the cen­tre con­tin­ues to threaten their liveli­hood.

Fri­day morn­ing’s march and picket at the prob­lem area fol­lows months of lim­ited ac­cess and lengthy de­tours due to flood­ing at the sub­way in Ke­nil­worth.

The cen­tre has 17 dif­fer­ent work­shops, pro­vid­ing em­ploy­ment for 300 adults, as well as a nurs­ery and restau­rant, which sell hand­made goods and plants to mem­bers of the pub­lic.

How­ever, ac­cord­ing to Yon­der CEO, Jan­nie van Zyl, prospec­tive cus­tomers are be­ing de­terred by the dam­aged road as they can­not drive through the sub­way to reach the premises.

An ad­di­tional 200 pupils at­tend school at the Jan­nie Brink Cen­tre, many of whom now have to take a 10km de­tour to get to school due to the con­di­tion of the sub­way.

“Our sales have dropped sig­nif­i­cantly and we do not know what to do any­more. As a com­mu­nity, we are very dis­ap­pointed by the fact that the rights of the per­son with a dis­abil­ity is dis­hon­oured,” Van Zyl said.

“Even though we live with a dis­abil­ity we have the right to work and to ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion. DE­TOURS: Res­i­dents of Yon­der marched to the Ke­nil­worth sub­way on Fri­day in an at­tempt to bring aware­ness to the con­di­tion of the road.

“Yon­der is de­pen­dent on the in­come gen­er­ated from sales of prod­ucts pro­duced by the ser­vice users of the cen­tre, the plants and seeds pro­vided to var­i­ous nurs­eries in the North­ern Cape and the in­come by the restau­rant on the premises.

“Main­te­nance costs to the ve­hi­cles of the staff and in­volved in­sti­tu­tions are high as ev­ery­one has to drive through the shorter route that is cur­rently in a tragic state and a dan­ger to their safety.”

Ac­cord­ing to Van Zyl, the flood­ing has been caused by a wa­ter pipe which is leak­ing at a join.

“You can see where it is leak­ing – it is not due to an in­crease in the wa­ter ta­ble as claimed by the Sol Plaatje Mu­nic­i­pal­ity. The soil that has been thrown in the area has also not helped and just made the sit­u­a­tion worse.”

Van Zyl pointed to a pipe in the road that was also leak­ing.

“We de­mand that the road be re­paired, per­ma­nently, as soon as pos­si­ble and that struc­tures are put in place to en­sure that wa­ter does not flow into the street, ob­struct­ing the flow of traf­fic and ac­cess to the school, cen­tre and busi­nesses in the area.

“We want the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to know that we are here – we will stop the cars and do what­ever we can to make sure they lis­ten to our cries.”

Spokesper­son for the Sol Plaatje Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, Sello Mat­sie, con­firmed that the mu­nic­i­pal­ity was ad­dress­ing the con­cerns that were raised, adding that en­sur­ing ad­e­quate drainage at the sub­way was cru­cial be­fore the road could be resur­faced.

“The dam­age to the road and the per­sis­tent pool­ing of wa­ter con­tinue to be a prob­lem as the sub­way is at the low­est ge­o­graph­i­cal point in the area,” he ex­plained.

“It is un­for­tu­nate that this prob­lem is pos­ing a sec­ondary chal­lenge, in that it is detri­men­tal to Yon­der, along with var­i­ous busi­nesses in the area.

“For­tu­nately, we have been able to iden­tify the source of the wa­ter but it will need to be drained and erad­i­cated be­fore we can com­mence any resur­fac­ing.”

Pic­ture: Sup­plied

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