After leaving a hazardous cavity on Rooibok Avenue unattended for nearly a month, the Newcastle Municipality is now stepping in to rectify the situation.
On Tuesday, 12 September 2023, Newcastillian News reported on the discovery of this gaping hole, which measures between three to five metres in depth. It is situated on Rooibok Avenue in Hutten Heights, positioned between Pick ‘n Pay and Checkers.
The origins of this potentially perilous chasm trace back to a manhole constructed by the Newcastle Municipality, from which sewage has been flowing unchecked into the surrounding vicinity. Looking for assistance, community members brought this pressing matter to the attention of New City Newcastle’s Gustav van der Linde, who subsequently contacted Councillor Bertie Meiring for solutions.
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In the wake of the initial report, efforts are now underway to address the issue. On Wednesday, 13 September 2023, Councillor Meiring, accompanied by officials from the Newcastle Municipality’s technical departments, as well as New City Newcastle’s Gustav van der Linde, conducted an onsite assessment.
Following this, Councillor Meiring said that their assessment confirmed not only the safety risk posed by the hole but also the erosion caused by the sewage flow, making it imperative to resolve the matter immediately.
He stated, “The Municipal teams took the necessary measurements, and a cover will now be made at the Municipal workshop. It will take approximately four days to dry. The cover will then be transported to the hole, where it will be placed.”
Despite the ongoing efforts, van der Linde expressed his concern about the pace of progress, especially given the substantial safety hazard posed by the open hole. New City Newcastle installed a temporary cover on the hole on Friday, 8 September 2023, as a stopgap measure. Regrettably, this interim solution remains in place, with the addition of barricade tape from the Newcastle Municipality teams.
Believing the barricade tape meant very little to demarcate the area, Van der Linde said that in his view, Municipal officials were not taking it that seriously as the job was not complete.
“I believe people need to be held accountable for this. It needs to be taken up higher,” said van der Linde.
Nonetheless, he clarified that New City Newcastle’s intention was not to engage in conflict with the government entity but to collaborate with the Municipality. In addition to notifying ward councillors of concerns in their respective areas.
Furthermore, van der Linde pledged, “In the future, if we do find hazards such as that (the hole on Rooibok Avenue), I’ll be happy to assist where I can. Also, I will ask if there are any members of my group that are willing to assist, albeit civil works or steelworks that need to be done.”
As the impending closure of the hazardous hole draws nearer, we invite you to share your thoughts on this matter in the comment section below. The safety of our community remains paramount, and it is essential to continue holding those responsible accountable for the timely resolution of such issues.