Sinkholes ‘grabbing’ vehicles in eThekwini municipality

Issued by Councillor Yogis Govender – DA eThekwini executive committee member
08 Jun 2023 in Press Statements

The Democratic Alliance had gone to great lengths, in their response to the State of the City address to explain the seriousness of an increase in vehicles ending up inside sinkholes, huge potholes, and open excavations. It was highlighted to the mayor and the governing party that the incidence of road defects with sinkholes swallowing vehicles was becoming somewhat of a tourist attraction in the city. Instead, councillors from minority parties, who clearly do not have their ear to the ground and do not represent the needs of their constituents, made light of the situation, going so far as to deny these representations.

In the state of the city debate, the DA pointed out that the potholes and sinkholes were jumping up and swallowing vehicles, and this week the situation appears to have gotten much worse. This week alone, three vehicles have suffered the same fate, namely a light motor vehicle, a heavy-duty truck, and a horse and trailer trapped in sinkholes on Edwin Swales Drive and the bluff. Such incidents have caused mayhem with traffic and commuters who use those busy roads and it is unacceptable that this Municipality is not exercising due diligence with preventative maintenance. Instead, the ANC-EFF led Municipality has allowed most infrastructure to disintegrate and degrade in such a manner that is causing now our roads to become extremely hazardous for commuters.

In addition, the roads division has also been quite compromised by the fibre operators and water and sanitation department who excavate for repairs and fail to rehabilitate the site properly leaving gaping excavations for weeks on end. Shoddy workmanship and zero-consequence management have become trademarks of eThekwini and are telltale signs of a city that is figuratively and literally crumbling into the ground.

This week two critical units namely EWS and electricity have been hit by serious setbacks in addition to the current service delivery failures Within EWS there was mayhem as contractors had barricaded workers into the depots preventing them from going to sites to effect repairs.

The second issue is that the electricity unit is currently embattled as certain contracts have come to an end as of the 31st of May and eThekwini cannot pay service providers for June 2023 which is a huge setback. This reeks of poor planning, lack of foresight, and zero consequence management as this will translate to backlogs and misery for consumers affected by faults within these departments.

No matter how much the ANC postures and re-prioritises the budget, there is no tangible improvement in any of the critical units. Only a change in administration and leadership in eThekwini will save the city from falling off the edge of the cliff.