Residents ask Howick crusader and team to repair more potholes after still waiting for municipality
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DURBAN - WHAT started as a crusade to fix a bumpy and pothole-riddled road in the neighbourhood is increasingly becoming a way of earning a living for Howick resident Jonty Myhill’s assistants, as calls for their services have soared in recent days.
Last week, The Mercury reported how Myhill had started fixing Curry’s Post Road – which he calls a death trap – three years ago, fearing that waiting for the uMngeni Municipality to fix it could lead to further delays and possible loss of lives. Since then, Myhill has conducted repairs every year and hired locals on a temporary basis to help him.
Last week, he caused a social media stir over a road sign warning about the repairs which stated that the local municipality was “useless”. However, Myhill said he had not written the wording for the sign and emphasised he did not bear a grudge against the municipality over the state of disrepair of roads in the area.
Myhill said yesterday that in the past week he had been approached for assistance with other roads.
“There have been a few people asking me for help with potholes, and it might turn into more permanent work for three guys,” said Myhill.
Meanwhile, another Howick resident, Kate Porter, has embarked on a campaign to send 1 000 emails to President Cyril Ramaphosa to demonstrate residents’ frustration with what she described as the “lacklustre response by uMngeni Municipality to service-delivery challenges”.
Porter said yesterday she was hopeful the email target would be reached soon.
She said the move to alert Ramaphosa had come after frustration over the lack of response from municipal officials.
“We believe a few hundred emails have been sent. This is an act of desperation as we get absolutely no response from the municipality,” said Porter.
She cited potholes, collapsing infrastructure and lack of support for local businesses as some of their key concerns, but singled out the lack of response by the municipality as the main concern.
“Our municipality’s municipal manager email (address) is no longer receiving the emails. We are unsure why, but after the first two days of our campaign, emails began bouncing back,” said Porter.
However, municipal spokesperson Thando Mgaga said there was no problem with the municipal email system.
According to KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs spokesperson Senzelwe Mzila, uMngeni Municipality was receiving assistance from the department as it had deployed experts to assist struggling municipalities.