Roads and Transport MMC Dikeledi Selowa has called for proper measures to close and secure all construction sites.
The MMC was speaking during a sod-turning for the construction of tarred roads and stormwater drains in Soshanguve Block FF.
Selowa said the project was the start of construction for roads and stormwater drains in the area.
Referring to children who have lost lives in trenches and quarries in recent months, Selowa told contractors from Dolly Construction that they could not afford to leave the sites open and unfenced while carrying out the work.
The City has made an investment of almost R19 million for the construction of the 1.4km of tarred roads, stormwater drains, speed humps, signage, and boards. The project will be completed in the next 12 months.
The area is in an awkward slope that makes living there a nightmare when it rains and residents are unable to drive to their homes.
The project will include the construction of 1.432km of internal roads from gravel to asphalt and 1.586km of pavement, as well as the laying of 1.341km of stormwater pipes ranging from 450mm to 825mm in diameter.
Selowa said Tshwane had many flooding hot spots and had received lots of petitions from residents needing infrastructure to ease the problem.
She said the area was selected as part of easing the pressure on the regional offices which often find themselves needing to do the day-to-day maintenance and fighting damages.
“We have seen with the heavy rains in the past couple of months that now not having road infrastructure is such a huge problem. A lot of the time communities, as well, request from us just to have a tarred road, but it’s more than just the tarred road, because the tarred road is not going to solve the problem of flooding. It is about including stormwater (drains),” said Selowa.
Regarding the safety of residents, especially children, Selowa said after the drowning of children, all the constructors were inspected and companies told to cover their trenches and put safety nets in place, especially because children love water and love to play.
“This is where we come in, to say please cover it up. There is going to be a lot of unannounced visits by myself and my office to see that the safety measures are there and we are not losing lives while we are trying to empower communities at the end of the day.
“We are trying to avoid those kinds of things, because we have children who are losing their lives. Children love water, you cannot prevent children from playing, but the contractor will also know that when it comes to safety it is very personal, because we bury people’s children and we cannot replace anybody’s child.”
Ward councillor Eulenda Mabusela said she was happy that the community was involved in the project to try to eliminate political tensions that often ruin development projects in Tshwane townships.
She said she hoped all would go well, even though she could not say for sure that this project would not be interrupted by the so-called business forums.
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