DispatchLIVE takes 40 minutes to drive last 15km to distant Eastern Cape village.
Roads in an Eastern Cape village are so bad that a funeral parlour has to rent a donkey cart to transport a coffin to the graveyard.
In some instances, locals use ladders as stretchers to carry departed relatives to their graves. The coffins are simply too heavy to accomplish otherwise.
The Covid-19 pandemic and its strict protocols mean burials have to take place posthaste, but for years residents of Nyumaga village in Centane have been complaining about the state of their roads.
That they have to use such drastic measures to lay their family individuals to leisure is a disgrace, they told DispatchLIVE on Tuesday.
As testimony to the circumstances they have lived with for decades, it took DispatchLIVE 40 minutes to drive the last 15km leading to the village.
Malibongwe Pikisa walked 5km to meet DispatchLIVE because the road is too treacherous the place he lives.
Funerals had transform an “embarrassment”, Pikisa said.
On Saturday, a hearse and mourners may not drive to the graveyard.
“When it rains, folks have to organise donkeys. No car can drive right here. The roads have by no means been done. No contractor has ever been right here.
“We don’t want folks to drawl because we don’t encourage that, but we need the government to arrive and examine this because they have by no means been right here,” he said.
Makinana Funeral Services and products parlour administrator Mvuseleli Tonisi confirmed the parlour employed a local man’s donkey cart on Saturday.
“This was the third time since late last year. We cannot drive the hearse by means of when it rains. Of us have to use planks and homemade carriers, and that isn’t accurate for funeral parlours. It’s powerful worse when it rains,” Tonisi said.
“Occasionally we arrive late for funerals. It’s a slack drive on those roads. A spacious challenge is faced by funeral parlours in the area.”
Tonisi said it took an hour for the donkey cart to carry the coffin to the gravesite.
“We have raised this challenge but nothing has been done. Our agreement with shoppers is to take the physique straight to the graveside but we get ourselves having to rent donkeys. It’s embarrassing for the families.”
Resident Sipho Gadudu told DispatchLIVE that last year they had to carry his neighbour’s physique on a ladder to his grave because the coffin was too heavy and they didn’t have a car.
“Cars can’t travel on these form of roads. Scholar transport struggles when it’s raining and our kids conclude up walking to faculty. Cars are damaged each day,” Gadudu said.
Of us from town have to use wheelbarrows to transport their groceries from the taxi stop. No car can be driven right here.
Pikisa said the villagers had lived with the road challenge for the reason that dawn of democracy.
“Cars have to be parked far away and folks walk to their events,” he said.
While he complimented government for rolling out electrical energy in the area, he said road circumstances remained abysmal.
He said the matter had been reported to Mnquma municipality but no action had been taken to date.
“An official came to look the road and said it’d be done by April last year. Then we have been told the gear to carry out the work had been damaged. We are always told about finances constraints.
“Of us from town have to use wheelbarrows to transport their groceries from the taxi stop. No car can be driven right here.”
Mnquma municipal spokesperson Loyiso Mpalantshane said the municipality had a “multiyear roads infrastructure snarl programme”.
“Mnquma municipality shares the pain persisted by the affected residents due to the unhappy state of a few of our rural roads and the challenges of mobility the situation brings,” he said.
“In September we announced the purchase of a recent hasty of gear together with trucks and tippers, a tractor loader backhoe and a Caterpillar to make stronger our rural roads network.
“As we speak, our engineers and hasty are scattered all over Centane as part of an wide rural roads network maintenance plan spread over 40km of road. It’s value hundreds of thousands of rand.”
BY BHONGO JACOB