Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition)

City says it has plans to answer the PHA’s plea for better roads

- GENEVIEVE SERRA genevieve.serra@inl.co.za

RATEPAYERS in Schaapkraa­l have written a letter with a list of demands to the City as they battle with flooding, potholes and damaged roads, which are surrounded by storm water and wastewater due to poor drainage.

They are calling for permanent solutions to flooding, poor drainage and potholes, which often hold them hostage inside their homes and puts them at risk of criminal opportunis­ts and damage to their vehicles.

The City’s mayco member for Urban Mobility, Rob Quintas, said they had heard the residents’ pleas and had already mapped out long- and shortterm plans to alleviate the potholes and flooding, including tarred roads for avenues.

Quintas said they had infrastruc­ture developmen­t on the cards to upgrade roads in the Mitchells Plain and the Philippi Horticultu­ral Area, such as Schaapkraa­l.

“Long-term, a consultant will be appointed in October 2023 to undertake the planning for the developmen­t of stormwater infrastruc­ture for Highlands Estate.”

“This report will inform further planning needed to secure funding to implement the report recommenda­tions.

“We are working systematic­ally through the PHA and currently concentrat­ing on the avenues in the Schaapkraa­l area to be upgraded to an asphalt surfaced road.”

Riyad Isaac, the deputy chairperso­n of the Schaapkraa­l Ratepayers Associatio­n, said they have been engaging with the City councillor for the area.

Their letter reads: “As we all know, the greater Schaapkraa­l road is a constant mess, riddled with endless potholes and flooding after one-day rain. It is common knowledge and a known fact that the majority of the area does not have adequate wastewater, storm water drainage, water channels and roads for so many years.”

Isaac called ward councillor Elton Jansen to attempt driving on the gravel, flooded and potholed roads.

Quintas said short-term solutions would include an appointmen­t of a contractor in November to undertake the annual maintenanc­e and to reshape the road profile to facilitate drainage.

He said the avenues in Schaapkraa­l were to be upgraded to an asphaltsur­faced road, and work would commence between November and December.

Jansen explained that Schaapkraa­l had grown in population and that calls

tarred had been made for urbanisati­on and not to disturb the surroundin­g environmen­t.

“The PHA is a farming area with farming characteri­stics and the restrictio­ns that come with it, i.e. gravel roads and septic tanks,” he said.

“In agricultur­al areas, the nature of the roads cannot be changed. Therefore, you will find many gravel roads.

“Over the years, many people moved into the area, changing the nature and character of the area from farming/ smallholdi­ngs to a residentia­l area,” he said.

“However, the restrictio­ns were not ‘removed’ until the urban edge was moved. The moving of the urban edge does not automatica­lly give zoning or developmen­t rights.

“There is an applicatio­n process that needs to be followed.

“I requested two months to come back to the community.

“In this meeting, the director of Roads Infrastruc­ture Management (RIM) Hilton Scholtz was present and confirmed that the maintenanc­e of the roads should continue.”

Jansen said a follow-up public feedback meeting is scheduled with relevant department­s on September 28 at 7pm at Opulence Function Venue in Schaapkraa­l.

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