Mlungisi residents build own speed humps in street

TAKING ACTION: A group of residents who are tired of speeding cars built speed humps in Tolashe Street, Mlungisi, over the weekend Picture: SUPPLIED

Members of a neighbourhood watch in Tolashe Street, Mlungisi built speed humps with concrete over the long weekend, citing speeding vehicles that were a major concern.

But the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality says the move is illegal and officers would be sent to assess the makeshift speed humps.

Bulelani Qowa, who lives in the area, said residents had noticed that taxi and other vehicle drivers used the tarred street, which had no speed humps, as a thoroughfare to avoid speed humps in other roads. “The street became too busy and because there were no public parks for children to play and we were concerned about their safety, we approached the municipality in 2014 requesting speed humps. We were told that only main roads close to schools could be catered for and we could not be assisted.”

Qowa said because of the high rate of crime in the area, particularly in Tolashe Street, a neighbourhood watch was formed to root out criminal activity in the community. It was with the help of members of this structure that a decision to build speed humps was made.

“The men and fathers of children living in this street decided to protect them like fathers should. We donated bags of cements, sand and concrete stone. We have skilled builders in the street and we managed to build four speed humps which we are hoping to complete on Sunday.”

Qowa said road accidents caused by speeding cars in the area happened frequently in previous years, resulting in two fatalities and an injured child. “We are losing dogs due to these speeding vehicles and we do not want that to happen to our children. We had to make vehicles adhere to the 60 km speed limit in the urban areas,” he said.

EMLM spokesperson Lonwabo Kowa said the municipality was not aware of the speed humps. “Should communities deem it necessary to have speed humps, they should send an application to the municipality and after assessment, a decision will be made. It is not lawful to build own makeshift speed humps even if an application was made. The municipality will send officers to make an assessment of these makeshift speed humps and if they pose any danger to vehicles, they will be destroyed. There have been cases where damages to cars due to makeshift speed humps were reported,” said Kowa.

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