Residents living in the South Durban Basin area may finally get some relief from the traffic congestion and other issues brought on by the influx of trucks in the area.
The DA, through a motion tabled during a council meeting last Thursday, called for more law-enforcement officials to be deployed to the area. The motion was supported unanimously.
The sponsor of the motion, councillor Gavin Hegter, said the party was pleased with the support.
The party’s motion requested the council to increase the number of metro police officers in the Clairwood trucking unit, increase the number of metro police vehicles, and to approach the KZN Department of Transport for additional enforcement agents stationed around the Durban harbour.
It also called on the City to urgently finalise a metro police heavy vehicle towing contract and to erect mass restriction signage along all entrance roads to residential areas in the South Durban Basin.
This has been welcomed by residents who said they live in constant fear of major accidents happening in that area.
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Hegter said: “It is important to note that the DA fully understands the importance of the trucking industry. This industry is vital to keep our economy going due to the collapse of the rail network.”
However, he said the industry had grown at a phenomenal rate while the municipality had not addressed the growth.
“As a result, we are experiencing an increasing threat on residential suburbs. As most of the trucking is focused around the port, it is predominantly the communities in the South Durban Basin who are most affected,” he said.
The DA councillor said the support of the motion was a victory, and was a step on the road ahead towards achieving community and property safety for residents in the area.
He said the motion would now be tabled.
“The installation of signage is something that can be implemented fairly quickly, yet other aspects of the programme may take some time.
We have been driving this issue for months so, with this victory, we will ensure that all necessary measures are implemented,” he said.
Desmond D’Sa of the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance said residents were fearful of truck crashes.
“Residents of South Durban and Durban live in constant fear of trucks smashing into their vehicles, similar to the accident that happened on Fields Hill and killed 24 people.
“With thousands of trucks on our roads, it is clear the authorities are unable to deal with traffic by-laws including high-level vehicle emissions which contribute to health problems such as asthma and other respiratory diseases,” he said.
Heidi Geyser of the Montwood Ratepayers’ Association said the presence of the trucks was a serious problem.
She said the trucks often blocked roads and caused damage to roads, trees and cables in some instances.
“It is a hazard to all in the area and we desperately have been asking for restrictions to the trucks passing through from Kenyon Howden Road and Higginson Highway.
“Superlinks (large trucks) should not come into residential areas, yet they are not stopped by law enforcement,” she said. – The Mercury