Welgedacht Road maintenance causes havoc

Wesley Beukes (21) says the edge break on the side of the tar in Welgedacht Road, R555 near Persida can cause severe damage to vehicle tyres.

The metro appointed contractor recently cut away half a meter of the edge of the tar road on both sides of this portion of the road stretching 40m.

One side of the road, traveling from Welgedacht towards the N12, was fixed but the opposite side was left undone.

The depth of the drop off at the side of the road varies between 15 to 20cm and is still causing a hazardous situation for motorists.

• Read: ‘Metro does maintain roads’

The Addie was approached by Zehir Omar Attorneys, representing their client the Society for the Protection of Our Constitution, to report that the road works undertaken by an appointed contractor, were never completed and no appropriate road signs were visible during road works.

“Our investigation reveals that the excavation marks recently incomplete road works, where there were no warning road signs is particularly difficult to avoid, when facing oncoming vehicles who are already in a narrow single lane traveling in the opposite direction at 70km per hour,“ says Aby Bakr, a lawyer at Sehir Omar.

The attorneys approached the metro on April 3, to inquire why the road works were not completed and no road signs were visible informing motorists of possible dangers ahead.

“We also informed them of the three near fatal accidents,“ says Bakr.

One of the accidents reported was a female motorist who lost control of her vehicle on March 24, and sustained multiple injuries including a dislocated shoulder, bruises and cuts.

The police officer compiling the accident report on March 24, states the vehicle rolled and stopped in the mealie fields on its roof.

Bakr says she spent more than six days in hospital and her vehicle was a total write off.

On April 1 a family of three was also injured when their vehicle overturned as a result of the same incomplete road works.

• Also read: Welgedacht Road will be lit up

He says the metro acknowledged receipt of their letter and stated in an email that they have referred the matter to the appropriate official in charge of road maintenance.

“We have afforded them 72 hours from the date of receipt of our letter, to conduct emergency repairs to prevent further risk to lives and damage to property.

“After receiving feedback from metro officials and after warning signs were put upon on Thursday, we have agreed to follow up again on Monday (April 10).

“If the road is not repaired urgently we will approach the High Court to force the metro to fix the road urgently,“ says Bakr.

Bkar explained it is clear that the metro is obliged to administer the provincial road network in accordance with provincial norms inter alia ‘to achieve optimal road safety standards with the province’, and to ‘protect and maintain provincial road network assets’.

“However, a public law obligation doesn’t necessarily give rise to a legal duty for the purpose of the law of delict,“ he says.

“Metro is not liable for any claim or damage arising from the existence, construction, use or maintenance of any provincial road, except where the loss or damage was caused by the wilful or negligent act or omission of an official,” says Bakr.

“In this case, where it may be that the officials negligently failed to inspect or sign off the contractor’s work, metro would be liable for loss caused as a result of the incomplete road works,” says Bakr.

The metro failed to respond to the questions, sent to them last Wednesday, by the time of publishing.

Anna Robertson

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