Photos by Keletso Mkhwanazi

By Keletso Mkhwanazi
In a heart-warming display of community spirit, households in Soshanguve banded together to raise funds for much-needed road repairs.

With each household contributing a minimum of R340, they were able to purchase the necessary material to patch up the access road that serves as a vital thoroughfare for locals, including school children, to reach the main road and public transport.

The road was in a state of disarray, with wild weeds sprouting up haphazardly along the edges and treacherous rocks lurking about, posing a threat to both pedestrians and motorists, particularly in the dark of night or during periods of heavy rain.

In light of previous flooding incidents in the City of Tshwane, the community of Block LKK took it upon themselves to address the issue of damaged roads. Rather than relying on municipal intervention, they collectively purchased three loads of tar-road material to repair the road independently.

Around 30 households donated R340 each to initiate the project on November 15, 2022. The
road is situated on a steep hill with rocky terrain, which has always resulted in car damage during
rainy seasons on multiple occasions.

As we made our way through the neighborhood, we were thrilled to see a multitude of locals eagerly taking part in a collaborative endeavor to spruce up the surroundings and kick start the road paving project.

According to a resident named Maria Makua, aged 54, she and her spouse were the originators of the proposal to repair the roads in their locality. Makua elaborated that their community was established in 1996 as an informal settlement, which underwent a 12-year development process.

The issue of service delivery has persistently plagued this area, as evidenced by the delayed installation of sewage drainage systems. Despite the presence of sewage holes in residents’ yards for over two years, it was not until 2008 that the necessary infrastructure was finally erected.

According to Makua, the community has experienced a lack of effective leadership from the four most recent mayors. As a result, they have grown weary of waiting for change and have taken matters into their own hands.

“Service delivery has always been a problem in this area. Sewage drainage systems were installed in 2008 after waiting for over two years with sewage holes in our yards. “There have been four subsequent mayors who have failed our community. We are tired of waiting, so we have decided to take matters into our own hands,” said Makau.

Makua explained that while other areas established after theirs have paved roads, their community is still struggling, especially during summer when it rains heavily. “When it rains, the road becomes treacherous, causing cars to avoid that section altogether. If the soil erodes, there are always big potholes and rocks on the road,” Makau explained.

She revealed that they tried to involve all community members, but not everyone participated. “We started with the city and asked for their assistance with providing trucks to remove rocks, level the ground, and contribute soil before we could begin. However, they informed us that they were unable to help due to budget constraints and lack of equipment,” said Makua.

Makau stated that they made every effort to involve the city in the project by following the correct procedures, but were unsuccessful. They sent a letter and memorandum to the city and even approached their ward councillor, who refused to participate. Additionally, the rocks in the area were so difficult that they encountered problems when installing water pipes and were unable to dig deeper.

Another resident, Maisha Mathuke, stated that they attempted to engage their ward councillor, who declined to participate. According to him, once they had completed the necessary documentation for the city, their ward councillor was responsible for submitting the paperwork to Tshwane House on their behalf.

“He did not outrightly refuse. However, when we followed up with the city, we found that he had not submitted the paperwork.

“When we asked him about it, he told us that he was busy working with other individuals outside of our ward,” said Mathuke.

Mathuke also explained that they were only able to complete three truckloads, with the third being obtained on credit.

Mathuke stated that they are in search of kind-hearted donors who can assist to finish their project.

Mathuke mentioned that an extra R500 per household is required to cover the expenses of the structure and acquire more materials. Additionally, assistance from the municipality is still necessary to enhance the road’s alignment, road signs, and road markings.

“Each household still needs to contribute R500 for us to be able to complete the work we have started.

“We also still need help from the municipality to ensure that we have a proper road,” concluded

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