In light of the heavy rains of the past week, which saw some of Bloemfontein’s main roads becoming flooded, causing high traffic build ups and temporary road closures, a resident felt the need to raise his concerns regarding what he considers as the lack of maintenance of one of Bloemfontein’s busiest roads.
As a pastor, Rowland Mogaecho is always engaging with members of the community. He constantly witnesses how drivers and pedestrians on the Dr Belcher Road are hindered by a number of issues which pose a threat to their safety on the road. The road is one of Bloemfontein’s busiest as it leads to the city centre and receives a heavy volume of traffic, including public transport and ambulances.
The pastor sighted, among others, drainage problems, potholes and the lack of safety for pedestrians as the issues that need to be addressed by the municipality. One major issue he mentioned is the flooding that occurs on the road, specifically near the entrance to the Pelonomi Hospital.
He also said the flooding prevents access to the hospital, which can, in turn, have an impact on the response time of emergency services. “Every time it rains, the area at the hospital is completely flooded. If an ambulance arrives in the case of an emergency, it has to go right around. I used to be paramedic and a fireman so I know the response time is very important,” he said.
Mogaecho also referred to the trees planted on the island which separate the road’s lanes, as a hindrance. “When driving, one cannot see oncoming vehicles and even pedestrians standing on the island to cross the road. I have noticed that the poor pedestrians have to step on the road to peer if there are oncoming vehicles,” he added.
The safety of scholars who use the busy road to walk to and from school is also a concern. He believes that the visibility of traffic officials could improve traffic flow and curb speeding along the road.
Mogaecho called for the Mangaung municipality to provide its services in all areas of Bloemfontein, irrespective of the race of the people who are living there. – Molebogeng Malebo