Du Noon residents say they are tired of trying to get the City of Cape Town to install speed bumps on the township’s roads and have taken matters into their own hands.
Using picks and shovels, residents have created a mixture of speed bumps and ditches across a number of streets running through the township in an effort to force motorists to slow down.
This weekend two more cement speed bumps were built in Du Noon’s Kwezi Street, with residents also placing cement slabs on either side of the speed bumps to ensure motorists don’t mount the pavement.
“We are very upset about speeding cars. Cars are speeding up and down at 100km/h,” said resident Andile Ndzendze, 36, a father of three young children.
Ndzendze said on the previous weekend (Sunday November 13) a motorists lost control of his vehicle and hit a stationary BMW parked in a yard.
The incident led to a meeting among residents on the street who unanimously agreed to donate money for cement to build speed bumps.
Ndzendze said the speed at which motorist drove along the roads on weekends had become so dangerous that people were scarred to let their children out the house.
Zukisi Ntakane, 33, whose stationary BMW was smashed by a speeding driver, said he the driver abandoned the vehicle and sped, leaving him with a hefty panelbeating bill for his BMW.
“We thought if there was a speed bump (the accident) would have been prevented,” said Ntakane.
Resident Patrick Mbangula said there were very few playgrounds for children in Du Noon which meant they played in the streets and along the pavement and were in constant danger of being run over.
ANC ward councillor Lubabalo Makeleni said the city had told him it cost about R22 000 to build a speed bump and it could only be built in an area where there was a church or school.
As the most problematic roads did not have a school or church on them, residents decided to make their own speed control barriers, said Makeleni.
If residents could not afford to buy cement, they simply dug a trench across the road, he said.
Along a 50m stretch of Ingwe Street, residents had built 15 speed bumps which were so high that motorists had to almost come to a complete stop in order to negotiate them.
Appealing to residents to not dig up the roads, City of Cape Town’s Transport, Roads and Major Projects Executive Director Mike Marsden said the city had a “very clear” policy on road traffic calming measures and digging up the roads and building own speed bumps was “an extreme hazard to motorists”.
Marsden said the perception that the city would only build speed bumps in the vicinity of churches and schools was incorrect.
He said creating traffic calming measures along Du Noon’s streets would be assessed in terms of the city’s traffic calming policy.
“Will refer this matter to (city’s) director of roads to have a look at the matter immediately,” said Marsden. — Peter Luhanga