OR Tambo Road in Imizamo Yethu has become known for speeding and cars driving the wrong way – and locals fear for the lives of children who have to cross the road.
There have been some nearmisses recently and residents have called on the City of Cape Town to step in before someone gets hurt or major damage is done.
Luthando Khaya from IY was on her way to collect her 7-year-old daughter at school when they crossed the road and a car which had swerved out of the way nearly crashed into them.
“The car was speeding, trying to avoid the oncoming traffic and we were going over the road. We jumped on the pavement and had it not been for the pavement, we might have been in hospital or dead,” she told Sentinel News last week.
Ms Khaya said she was not the only one who experienced this and the problems have been increasing over time.
“There are plenty of cars using this road as a short cut, but it’s a one-way road. So when a car driving up the one-way needs to make it in time, they speed up and rush to get through the road,” she said.
Another resident had witnessed an accident earlier this year involving two cars which had crashed into each other head-on.
Sipho Ndumane said residents were not even surprised when the accident took place and was expecting a crash.
“People drive very bad on this road and everybody here knows that it is an accident waiting to happen. I fear for our children because they are running over this road all the time,” he said.
Mr Ndumane called on the City to introduce traffic calming measures as a matter of urgency – and before something serious happens.
Recently, family members who had been visiting him, were involved in an accident on the corners of OR Tambo Road and A Boesak Street while they were on their way home.
“Nobody was injured and my family was okay, but again, a driver used the road incorrectly and also ended up speeding. He destroyed their car and then at the end of it all, he could not afford to pay them back for the damages,” Mr Ndumane said.
Residents are now calling on the City to pay urgent attention to the problems they are faced with in OR Tambo Road.
Community leader, Mluleki Mgayi, said while the only confirmed case he knew of was one involving a child who had been knocked down in OR Tambo Road last year, there had been a number of near-misses.
“I really do not want to say it, but it has to be said. I have a child who goes to school close by and also uses that road and I would hate for something like that to happen to her,” he said.
“This road has become very dangerous as more people are learning that if they drive up the one-way, it’s a short cut to the main road.”
What makes Mr Mgayi more frustrated is that people from the community are found to be breaking the laws of a road they know well.
“People know the dangers of this road, but they still end up breaking the laws of the road. You will also see many repeat offenders. When are people going to realise that this is very dangerous and they are playing with our kids’ lives?” Mr Mgayi said.
Ward councillor Roberto Quintas said that the City had not received any formal complaints from the community, but still took the matter very seriously.
There had also been no official requests for traffic calming measure for OR Tambo Road, he said.
“I have written to the traffic calming department asking for an urgent investigation and assessment of the area and to action speed humps as prescribed near schools,” he said.