Whether its running errands or simply going to watch a movie, using the Midas parking lot is problematic for any motorist.
Resembling a war zone, the parking lot is riddled with potholes. Some of which have reached levels that hitting it will leave your vehicle with a remarkable amount of damage. While motorists try and avoid the area, which negatively impacts the businesses therein. What do people working in the area think about the condition of the parking lot?
Shop owner, Kone Mamadou says the poor condition of the parking lot has a negative impact on businesses in the area.
“A lot of people don’t want to come here, because of all the potholes. There is no way a person with a nice, new car would want to come and do business in the area. Simply because the potholes can damage their vehicles,” he says.
Mr M. Docrat of Quik Serve Locksmith concurs and states the parking area is in a terrible condition. “The potholes are devastating and are bad for business,” he emphasises.
Mr Docrat also explains the parking lines are not painted properly, which also causes issues in the area.
Car guard, David Methula says he fully agrees that the parking lot needs to be attended to. “The municipality will come and put soil in the holes and leave.”
The issue with this is, if it rains, the soil is washed away.
“The potholes need to be fixed properly and the parking lines need to be painted properly,” he says.
However, while the parking lines are problematic, the lines cannot be painted properly until the tarmac is fixed accordingly.
But what can be done to repair the parking lot?
Newcastle municipality’s head of communications, Dr Dumisani Thabethe, says the matter is being looked into. However, business owners feel something needs to be done as soon as possible.
In 2017, the Eastern Cape High Court ordered the provincial Roads Department to reimburse farmers who carried out maintenance themselves, fixing a number of potholes.
However, the ruling was subject to strict conditions, which includes giving the department 30 days notices of the repairs and acquiring at least two independent quotes.
Does this mean local businesses can expect the Newcastle Municipality to fork out cash and pay them to repair the potholes?
Dr Thabethe emphasises the municipality will not reimburse residents for any repair work.
“Something needs to be done though,” emphases a businessman who wishes to remain anonymous. He explains that over the past week, he has needed to repair two of his rims after hitting the potholes.
The Newcastillian asked residents if they thought residents should be reimbursed for taking service delivery into their own hands. This is what they had to say:
“People should definitely be reimbursed for fixing potholes. It is not our jobs to do it in the first place. The municipality marks the potholes at the Midas parking lot, then puts light gravel in them, which then washes away after the first rains.”
“No, I do not think people should be reimbursed. If they are, then everyone will copy them.”
“People must be reimbursed. Motorists’ tyres get damaged through potholes, such as those at the Midas parking lot and along Lincoln Street. Potholes are an issue and the municipality isn’t doing anything about it.”
What are your thoughts on the situation? Do you feel businesses in the Midas parking lot should repair the potholes themselves? If they do, do you think the municipality should reimburse them? Or should it be a community driven initiative?
Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.