‘Horrified’ officials visit R36

BADFONTEIN – A spark of hope ignited after two officials of the Public Protector’s provincial offices visited on Tuesday. This came after some provocative pictures recently circulated through the media as well as a formal complaint which was lodged with Adv Kevin Sifiso Maluga, Deputy Public Protector against the Mpumalanga Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport (DPWRT).

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The officials were accompanied by Ms Alison Botha of Lydenrust Guest Farm and Rosie Morrison, who “bathed” in one of the potholes on the R36. “They were in total disgust with the condition of the road when we were driving to Klipspruit Combined School,” Botha said. She said one of the officials told her that he had been traveling on that particular road in 2012, but it was now much worse than he had expected. “Every time I drive on this road, I think it is my last,” Botha added.

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According to Morrison, who returned to the UK yesterday, the saddest part was that something so dramatic had to happen, before they could draw the attention of those who were responsible. “So many lives have been lost and no one listened to the people’s pleas,” she said. “If we knew what the reaction to the photographs was going to be, we would have done so much more.”

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An official meeting between the Office of the Public Protector and the MEC for the DPWRT is set to take place, but neither parties could confirm the date before going to print. “It was really good to meet with the officials and gratifying to know that someone out there cares. I can only hope and pray something good comes from this,” Botha concluded.

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  AUTHOR
Johanri Coetzee
Journalist

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