Francistown has been urged to plan migrating to concrete roads arguing that the traditional asphalt ones are prone to cracks and potholes.
The Francistown City Council (FCC)’s road network is in bad shape with potholes making life difficult for motorists.
Endless efforts by council to repair the roads have dismally failed as the potholes emerge soon after maintenance works have been carried out with several councilors proposing moving to concrete roads.
Tatitown ward councilor Gaethuse Ramolotsana told this publication that the council has been doing maintenance works on several major and secondary roads with a view of fighting potholes but no solution has been found.
“It will be wise for the council to introduce our first cement roads very soon. I think there is justification to use such roads as most developed countries have since migrated from asphalt roads which require constant maintenance,” said Ramolotsana.
According to Mpotokwane, there are the requisite skills in the companies that the council has been hiring to maintain the roads. If the worst comes to the worst, Mpotokwane will utilize its internal skills in this regard.
Specially elected councilor Zazambi Tuelo echoed Ramolotsana’s sentiments.
In addition, Tuelo said the migration will enable the council to save funds arguing that potholes are being repaired time and again at a high cost.
“Concrete roads require low maintenance. The advantage we have is that we have capacity, as there is a lot of cement readily available in the country as compared to bitumen which is currently imported from South Africa at higher prices,” argued Tuelo.
Furthermore, Tuelo said concrete roads had a longer lifespan compared to asphalt roads. He added that a number of countries that long migrated to concrete roads have since realized the advantages.
Peter Ngoma, another specially elected councilor weighed in: “Research indicated that well-designed cement roads require little if not no maintenance well beyond their 40-year design lives.”
Research also shows that concrete roads are not damaged from oil leaks like what happens with asphalt roads. Council has over the years been criticized for its failure to repair potholes that are now a danger to motorists.
Approached for a comment, the city clerk Mompati Seleka admitted that potholes become a menace in the country’s second largest city.
He admitted that the situation worsens every rainy season.
“We are now dam-sized potholes even in the city centre. And this calls us to be proactive in dealing with the crisis. The city leadership will take the ideas and discussions are currently underway to find a long-lasting solution to the problem,” said Seleka.