As we slowly transition from the cold dry season to a warm and wet season, Matsapha Town Council has in the couple of months been working actively to maintain and improve the town’s road networks. This is all in-line with Council’s vision of making Matsapha a liveable and sustainable town. The works that have taken place so far are all aimed at ensuring that traffic is controlled and also provides safety for both human and car traffic.
Bush Clearing and Grass Cutting
Firstly, the team has cleared overgrown vegetation on the verge of the roads. An 800m section along the railway line servitude has also been cleared. Other servitudes with thick dense bushes have been identified and scheduled for clearing by the team. The clearing of the bushes on road verges is key as overgrown vegetation may cause an obstruction on the road, which may lead to accidents and may also harbour criminals. Additionally, it also improves the aesthetics of our beautiful town.
Unclogging Storm water Drainages
As a consequence of its function, the storm water conveyance system collects and transports urban runoff. Therefore, maintaining catch basins, storm water inlets, and other storm water conveyance structures on a regular basis is vital to remove pollutants, prevent clogging of the downstream conveyance system, restore catch basins’ sediment trapping capacity, and ensure that the system functions properly. A target of 6.5km was set for maintenance of storm water drains and as of last month the team managed to unclog 1126m of drainages around town. This activity is timely as it is happening before the wet season, to limit road flooding.
In the month of July, our Engineering team has been engaged in repairing potholes all over Matsapha. In that month alone, the team managed to cover potholes in most parts of the town. While working on road patching some areas have raised concerns and will require upgrades. The upgrade is expected to take place soon.
Painting of Road Marking
Road marking in the month of July covered both centre lines and small markings. The team successfully painted centre lines from Esibayeni to Tubungu and within Tubungu. In the current month the team has been working on small markings on all junctions and islands. The team managed to mark 25 STOP signs, 7 islands and 4 pedestrian crossings and 10.5km was covered doing centre lines. The CBD has 85% of its streets painted with long Lines. With the clear road signages it is our hope that traffic will now remain safe on the roads, if and when road users follow them accordingly.
Recently Council published a statement requesting that plot owners clear their overgrown plots. Council has also cleared out one of its plots as an act of urgency as it was starting to harbour criminals, putting at risk the occupants of Matsapha. The area cleared covers 1200sqm of thick dense trees and bushes. Council through Environment and Public Health Department in conjunction with Engineering Department inspects plots from time to time. Plot owners are responsible for the maintenance of their plots, and are requested to clear their plots. However, once it is reported and/or identified as a public nuisance, Council clears the plot at a cost to the owner.
A lot of effort has gone into maintaining and upgrading Matsapha’s roads, despite the limitation of resources due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Council urges all road users, to continue taking caution as more road works are being carried out.
MATSAPHA DRIVERS OBEY ROAD SIGNS TO REDUCE ACCIDENTS
The Matsapha community is requested to fully comply with road signs to help reduce accidents. In the recent months a number of road accidents have been recorded in some of the towns’ roads. It is unfortunate that some of the accidents have even resulted to one fatality. Working along with the Royal Eswatini Police Services (REPS), Traffic Unit, it has been observed that accidents are caused by drivers exceeding the speed limit and not obeying traffic signs.
Council has taken it upon themselves to work towards addressing the problem. The risk is not only for vehicles but also pedestrians that also use the roads. Just a few months back Council installed speed limit signs along Airport Rd as a means to reduce the number of accidents occurring on that road, however more road accidents are still occurring. With the efforts taken by Council it also lies upon each driver to follow all road signs.
Seeing the rise in the number of accidents Council will be engaged in a Road Safety Audit. This will be an internal process, where Council conducts an inventory of road signages or markings of all the ‘accident prone roads’ that have been identified by Council together with REPS. Reports by our valuable Stakeholders have also been filed at our office, which also have assisted with identifying the high accident zones. These roads include Umvongoti in Tubungu, 5th Avenue, Tabankulu Street, Airport Road and Catfish Drive -Phase 3 Tubungu. The audit will help with providing necessary data on road safety signage, which can then better inform Council on the next steps towards addressing the challenge. Additionally, Council is working tirelessly on improving the state of the roads as reported in the above article.
Meanwhile, all drivers are requested to obey all road signs to help reduce the number of accidents. Remember when you drive you are not only driving your car, but also the cars you in the road with. When caution is taken by all drivers less accidents will occur.