I MUST express my gratitude and appreciation to the Nelson Mandela metro roads department and the provincial Department of Roads for addressing the problems on the dangerous Rocklands Road with so much urgency and efficiency. This road was the scene of a tragic accident on September 11 where Grade 4 pupils Bulelani Ndarala and Siviwe Mbetshu were killed outside the Ankervas Primary School.
I visited Ankervas with officials from the Department of Roads' Port Elizabeth district office on September 13 to find solutions to speed up and improve safety on the road approaching and leading past the school. We also did inspections at Rocklands Farm School and St Albans Primary School in the area where there are similar dangerous conditions.
Serious attention has since been given to improve safety on this road, which carries large volumes of traffic daily. The parking area outside Ankervas School was broadened by workers from the Department of Roads' Port Elizabeth district office the day after my visit so that taxis can park further away from the road.
The mayor's office has given an undertaking that other improvements will be completed before the end of the year. These include more traffic signs, chevrons and rumble strips.
The speed limit on the road will also be reduced.
Unfortunately there will always be reckless drivers on our roads. It is therefore of vital importance that every possible effort is made to ensure optimum visible traffic policing and zero tolerance in the area.
I have been in contact with the provincial department in an effort to have more officials deployed to the area. I will continue to monitor this road to ensure that the proposed safety improvements are done.
Pine Pienaar, DA spokesman on roads and public works, Bhisho Legislature