Government must stop passing the buck on dangerous R55

Solly Msimanga MPL

DA Constituency Head: Centurion

The residents of Raslouw and users of the R55 are faced with frequent accidents and robberies while the Tshwane Metro and the provincial government argue about whose responsibility it is to provide and maintain street lights on this section of road.

The R55 has become an alternate route used by thousands of commuters avoiding the e-tolls on the N1.

On a daily basis cyclists, pedestrians and homeless people pushing big carts of recycling materials put their lives in danger by crossing the R55; often into oncoming traffic.

This while motorists are subjected to long traffic queues in trying to cross or join the main R55 from either side of the Lochner intersection.

Residents submitted a petition through their DA ward councillor, Marika Kruger Muller, to the City of Tshwane a year ago with no positive response. The only reply they have received to date is Tshwane blaming the province as the R55 is a provincial road, while province shifts the responsibility back to Tshwane.

OUTsurance was asked to assist with pointsmen for dangerous crossings; however, after their assessment they indicated that “Deploying an OUTsurance pointsmen on site will expose the team to a very dangerous situation” and declined to assist due to the risk of speeding vehicles.

I will be submitting questions to Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Ismail Vadi, to establish what plans the department has to tackle the issues on this strip of road, to request that the maximum speed be reduced and that traffic police are deployed to enforce this.

I will also request that the MEC dispatch officials from the Traffic Engineering Directorate to inspect this stretch of road and install the necessary signage and traffic calming measures at intersections to ensure safe crossings.

Provincial government and the Tshwane metro must desist from passing the buck and find a solution to this problem before more lives are lost on this road.