Residents tackle Komani potholes

NO TO POTHOLES: Komani businesses have taken it upon themselves to repair potholes in parts of the town, including Prince Alfred Street       Picture: ABONGILE SOLUNDWANA

Residents have jumped in to solve Komani’s pothole scourge.

An initiative led by Shepstone Hardware with help from  HM Stone CC, Energo and Thompson’s Transport has made more than 1, 000 pothole repairs in Komani already.

The pothole initiative is funded by residents who cannot stand and wait for the local government to conduct the long-awaited road repairs.

Shepstone manager Brett de Coning, the supervisor of the project, said: ”The initiative was started by
Shepstones. We thought it would be a good idea to help our town and get our name out there.

“We realised it was a bigger undertaking than we initially thought so we got Warwick Stone from HM Stone,
Thompson’s Transport and each of them contributed to
the project.”

De Coning said the repairs would not be made all at once, but would be conducted on a trial basis.

”We began in Top Town and worked our way down to the CBD. We have bought 1, 630 tar bags so far.”

Certain areas in Top Town could not be repaired due to rainfall and logistical issues which were overlooked.

“We plan to finish by the end of this month and move to the next phase working, in and around the CBD.”

They are also hoping to lobby in bigger businesses to get on board and support the cause.

However, the project was not without its share of challenges. ”The roads are in such poor condition in
certain areas that we cannot use heavy machinery to compact the road because it breaks the rest of it.

”We cannot use the saw because we rip chunks of tar while working. We get to areas where we realise we
cannot fix everything because we are allowed to fix potholes and not resurface,” said De Cuning.

“The main objective is to make it a viable community project that is self-sufficient, not only managed by
Shepstone, but by other stakeholders too. We are hoping organisations like Komani4Me will join the
initiative and bring transparency that would add clarity on finances and people will know what is
going on at every stage so they do not wonder what is happening with their donations.

”Shepstones is not making anything from this, which is why we want to get as many people on board as
possible. Getting the bags of tar is easy, it is the labour that is hard.”
There were also plans to move to places like Newvale before winter starts. Business owners are very
excited and keen to get involved.

”I know some people were upset because they felt they were not given a chance to get involved, but it is
really open to everyone. The more the better. Ideally we hope for every section of town to have a sponsor
so that each community can know the businesses are giving back.

”We do not want it to forever be known as the Shepstone’s project, even though it originated from us. We need more participants because it is such a big initiative.”

He said it was something rewarding to get involved in and he believed it would keep gathering
momentum. ”That will be the nice way to see it grow, because where there are roads there will be
potholes.”

These were his sentiments about Julian Thompson, owner of Thompson’s Transport, who passed away this week: “He was a contributor and a very wise man who said, ‘let’s walk before we run’. We will always
remember him, he is a part of us. Condolences to the family and lots of love.”

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