PHOTOS: Death and damage on one of Manguang’s deadliest roads

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MJ LOURENS

Fed up residents of Bochabela in Mangaung won their battle over a deadly road in the area where three people, including two children, have lost their lives in the past three weeks.

An S-curve on the Fort Hare Road has led to numerous fatalities – the latest being last week Wednesday evening, when a man was run over by ‘n minibus taxi. Residents started protesting over the weekend after numerous attempts for their voices to be heard.

Residents held a public meeting and signed a petition to advocate for speed humps or speed cameras to be installed to calm traffic on a seemingly dangerous road on 16 June 2015. The petition was submitted to the traffic department and Mangaung Metro’s mayor, city manager and speaker.

On Saturday residents took to the streets and barricaded the road with rocks and burning objects. This continued overnight into Sunday.

Brenda Khadienyane, who signed the petition, said most accidents on this road happen between 12:00 at night and 03:00 in the morning.

She too, has been a victim of people speeding on this road. In October last year a car smashed into a wall at her house. After getting lawyers involved her wall was eventually fixed in April, only to be driven into again on May 17 this year. Now she’s left with an incomplete wall and a leaking toilet.

A man who was meant to get married earlier this year died on this road – the day before his wedding. This happened opposite Khadienyane’s house – a night she’ll not forget soon. According to Khadienyane at least five other people have lost their lives here.
Mangaung Metro DA ward councillor Tjaart van der Walt highlighted the issue raised by the community during the public meetings.
"Councillors simply fail to recognise or respond to valid community objections. The role of councillors is to be a link between their communities and the municipality. A caring government should always prioritise people’s lives," Van der Walt said.

Metro spokesperson Qondile Khedama on Monday confirmed the municipality had received the petition. According to him the metro will move swiftly to install temporary speed humps to ensure the safety of the community.

"We are confident that this move will be appreciated by residents. And, it will go a long way in reducing fatalities experienced by citizens living close to the road."

Police spokesperson Masilela Langa on Monday confirmed the protests that took place over the weekend and said no arrests had been made. The police are still monitoring the situation.

mj@centralmediagroup.co.za