Motorists complain of bad roads in Mnquma

A taxi negotiating a potholed road in Butterworth. Photo by Mbulelo Sisulu

The appalling condition of roads in Eastern Cape towns is a resounding complaint from motorists who have to regularly repair their vehicles.

Butterworth, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Motorists are complaining about the state of roads in Mnquma Local Municipality in the Eastern Cape. Even tar roads have big potholes that damage vehicles.

Goodman Sinyanya (34) is one of the motorists that is complaining about the roads. “It is very painful to be a resident of this municipality because service delivery is something else. These roads have been like this for more than 10 years. Our municipality does not maintain the road; that is why you see big potholes here. I buy wheels every year but these wheels do not last on these roads,” he said.

Sinyanya mentioned the fact that since South Africa got democracy in 1994, the service delivery by Mnquma has never been good. “Each and every term of all political leaders of this municipality, they just forget about service delivery. Their interest is to loot money and forget about us. They always fight about positions. National and provincial government tried several times to intervene to the situation of this municipality. Around 2009, the late former Minister of Local Government, Sicelo Shiceka and former Local Government and Traditional Affairs MEC, Toko Xasa dissolved this municipality. Then it was under administration. But as residents of this municipality we never saw a change because the situation is still the same,” he said.

Taxi driver, Ncedo Komanisi (40) drives on these roads daily, taking people from Cuba Township to the town of Butterworth. He says he sleeps with pains in his body because the roads are so bumpy.

“When you drive around Mnquma, you do not enjoy driving. You only enjoy driving when you go to East London. I fixed wheel alignment many times last year because these potholes damaged it. Most of the taxis here look old although they were bought few years ago. I ask leadership of this municipality to help us by fixing these roads. They do not care about service delivery, they only care about themselves. They are fighting about positions in that council so their fight affects us because they do not deliver services to the people. But when they want our votes they come to us so that we can give them a chance again to have access to that money of the council,” he said.

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National ANC chairman Gwede Mantashe visited Mnquma Local Municipality on 13 February 2018. He was there to discuss the instability and infighting that plagues this municipality. He told them that fights within the party is affecting the delivery of services by the municipality.

Municipal spokesperson, Loyiso Mpalantshane says they started to fix potholes. “At the moment we are running out of tar. So we are still waiting for the tar that we ordered so that we can continue repairing the roads,” he said.

The municipality includes the towns of Centane, Gcuwa and Ngqamakhwe.


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