Residents want department to fix cracks

Sello Lehong shows the crack along his outside wall.

Some residents of Deodar Street in Tygerberg Hills believe roadworks on the N1 are causing cracks in their homes, and they want officials to take responsibility.

The roadworks by the Department of Transport and Public Works are part of a three-year project that started in February last year to reduce congestion

Dave Petersen noticed the cracks around his home late last year. He inspected his property after a neighbour had complained about similar cracks.

Mr Petersen’s biggest concern is the crack in his pool. He said it started to lose water in November. He put it down to evaporation, but after the water restrictions started and he stopped topping it up, he realised the level was dropping too quickly for it to be that. He submitted a claim to his insurance company but it was refused.

Sello Lehong said the cracks had started in a rear bedroom. He tried to fix them, but they quickly re-appeared. There are cracks throughout his home including his stoep.

In his correspondence with officials, Mr Lehong said neighbours had experienced noise pollution and vibrations over several months, which they had tolerated.

“What became alarming was the extent to which our houses started vibrating as well, which would have been forgiven as well had it not been that we now started seeing cracks inside and outside many of the houses.

“I have been able to discuss this with a number of my neighbours, and, as it turns out, we all have similar problems, which seem to have been caused by the vibrations,” his email read.

Simon Blyth, chief engineer for the department, said an official had been sent out to Mr Lehong’s home to do a preliminary inspection.

“They are in the process of appointing a specialist engineer to perform further investigations/testing and will not comment either way at this stage. Either way, it confirms that the contractor has been in contact with the claimants and is assessing the situation as required,” he said.