By LOYISO DYONGMAN
Makana Municipality has expressed its gratitude to local businesses who have taken it upon themselves to repair potholes in Makhanda.
In an official statement, Executive Mayor Yandiswa Vara thanked the local Pick n Pay, Makana Caltex garage and others for offering to work with the municipality to repair potholes in various streets.
Pick n Pay business partner Jon Campbell approached the municipality last month to discuss the possibility of a partnership to repair potholes around Makhanda. Meetings between Makana Municipality, Pick n Pay and Caltex lead to the start of the work on 10 May.
“Makana LM and the two businesses have since signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) detailing the terms and conditions of the collaboration,” Vara said. “The two businesses have undertaken to voluntarily repair potholes on roads that have been agreed upon by all parties.”
The municipality has agreed to make available these roads from time to time for this work. Vara said the parties have decided that the personnel to be used will be chosen, transported and trained by Pick n Pay and Makana Caltex. Any other businesses that decided to assist or support this programme would abide by the terms and conditions of the MOU.
“The determined workers began patching potholes at the African and Allen Streets intersection. We welcome this exemplary gesture, which has attracted the interest of various local businesses. The repairs will continue for as long as funding is available, and due to the expensive nature of the work, only smaller potholes will be repaired,” Vara said.
Several local businesses have already come forward to support the initiative. These include Buco Hardware, Vox Fibre and RentAll. The material used to do the work was purchased from a local businessman, Andrew Kirk, who volunteered his time to show the labourers how to repair the potholes properly.
“I believe that this is the beginning of a great partnership. We want to express our deepest appreciation to all the businesses who have offered their support to this wonderful initiative,” the mayor said. “This is a true illustration of what we can do when working together to resolve our problems.”
Meanwhile, Campbell commended the municipality for their immediate committed support. “The roads in our CBD are deteriorating, especially after the rain, and the Municipality has challenges with funding repairs,” Campbell said.
“We are starting an initiative of soliciting businesses in town to get together with us [with the Mayor’s support ]and repair the potholes on a non-political basis, working together with the municipality for the collective benefit of all. A healthy CBD breeds a healthy environment for business growth and the resultant increase in employment opportunities.”
Campbell said this project would be ongoing, with the work being done on Tuesdays from 10 am – 4 pm. They have already done Allen street and Cradock road.
Campbell said the cold tar mix costs R85 per 25kg bag, and the sealant slurry costs R330 per 20L – a 25kg bag covers one medium-sized pothole. Together with the stone to line the base of the pothole, materials cost about R4000 per day.
Vox Telecom was one of the first businesses to get involved. Campbell said Vox Telecom had purchased much of the equipment necessary and started with 25 bags of cold tar. They also made their staff available to assist.
Campbell said Buco had also come on board by assisting with equipment and safety wear, and Rentall allows the team to use their cutter and compactor at no charge. He said other businesses had pledged their support.
“We have hired some of our casual workers hourly, and our management team and the Vox activation teams do most of the work,” Campbell said.
It is a total of about 15 people, including pointsmen guiding traffic. PnP, Makana Caltex and Vox carry the financial costs at this stage.
“The objective other than to fix potholes is to unite the local businesses and the muni to work together for the collective benefit of all road users.
“Yolandi from Dold and Stone will control a trust account. Anyone who would like to contribute can do so via her offices, and she will use the money to buy raw materials. Any businesses that want to assist with the repair work can join us at any stage. They are also welcome to advertise their involvement in supporting their local community,” Campbell added.