Imizamo Yethu residents have welcomed a City announcement that roadworks will start there from the beginning of next month.
The traffic circle at the entrance to the township will be resurfaced, kerbs along NR Mandela Road repaired, NR Mandela and Oliver Tambo roads resurfaced and pavements along sections of those roads repaired, according to the City.
Residents hope the project will both fix the broken roads and bring jobs to a community ravaged by poverty and joblessness.
“When I heard of the opportunity, I immediately went for it because I know from here, I can get other opportunities, maybe in future, to work on other projects,” said resident Jackson Mothabali, who has been without work for almost seven months.“I just want to be able to work to support my family.”
The township’s roads had been in a bad way for a long time, and many had given up hope that they would ever be fixed, he said.
“We are very excited to see our roads being fixed and then to have work being provided is also quite helpful.”
Community leader Kenny Tokwe believes repairing the roads will lead to positive spin-offs for the community.
“Good roads give a good image in our community, and it brings a safe environment and offers safe public transportation as well.”
A recent open day held by the City in the area had been well received, he said.
“The community was impressed with what they saw at the open day, and they are also excited about the employment opportunities.”
Contractors cleaning the drains had already hired 30 people, and the City’s solid-waste department had hired 10 more to run an awareness drive in IY.
At the open day, City transport officials outlined the project for residents and advised them how to look after road infrastructure.
The broken roads and drains led to growing anger in the area, and, last month, residents demanding action burnt tyres in the streets and blocked the traffic circle near the Hout Bay police station (“IY residents vent their road rage,” Sentinel News, September 17, 2021).
The City responded by holding a meeting with residents explaining plans to address the situation.
Residents told the City they wanted a permanent solution, not more patch-ups (“Roads need fix not patch-ups, say IY leaders,” Sentinel News, October 1, 2021).
Roberto Quintas, the mayoral committee member for transport and Hout Bay’s ward councillor, said drains were being installed ahead of road resurfacing.
“By working together, we can do the road repairs and complete the project on time. This will benefit all who live and move around in Imizamo Yethu, from the local residents to the minibus-taxi operators.”
Stormwater drains were only for rainfall run-off and nothing else, he said, noting that dumping in the system caused blockages that flooded roads and even houses.
“This is why I cannot stress enough how important it is that residents refrain from dumping objects into the system and to report those who do.”