⁷l travelled north recently to attend a funeral. I didn't make a mistake this time.
In 1993 l travelled the roads of these two bantustans with my brother. He had just bought his BMW 3 series. It was not new but something the villagers would turn and look at when we passed.
We decided to go visit our grandmother after a Sundowns match at Thohoyandou Stadium. I made a mistake. I chose a wrong road, 500 meters tarred road and 35 km gravel road. The worst think l realised was that it was corrugated dirt road. I did not know. My brother who was driving complained the whole journey to Joburg.
He told me it was easy to replace petrol than to replace car parts. And indeed on arrival in Joburg, two days after that, he took the car for front wheel bearing replacement and the next the other. I was ashamed of myself. The repairs were my responsibility.
Today most of these roads have been rehabilitated and they are smooth rides. Don't be fooled. You would do the same mistake l did in the past if you do not have information.
For example, to cut travel expense l decided to take a road from Polokwane to a certain village in the former Gaza. I took the Tzaneen road that will take me to Bungeni. All was well. Tarred road makes it quick. Trouble started when l took Lemondkop/Sekgoses road.
You will always be fooled by 200 meters of smooth ride. I have never seen so much damage to a secondary road.
Cars drive on gravel leaving the potholed road alone. Cattle and donkeys are sleeping and standing in the middle of the abandoned tarred road and cars are zig zagging alongside it.
I repeated the same mistake again, l silently thought. After 26 years of democracy. I am using my car now. It was horrible.
I complained when l was then with relatives and l was told to use the Ndengeza Blinkwater road. It's new and smooth ride. Exactly like the apartheid constructed roads.
No road markings, boom, an abnormal road speed hump ahead. Now what do you think happened? At 100k/h l nearly lost control.
What's wrong with out democratic roads? I must now do minor repairs but to a car like mine, minor is just a word. Now l know better. It is indeed cheaper to replace petrol that to fix a car.
When you visit this areas, please find information first. The rural roads were plagued by animals in the past but now potholes and speed humps are a present and eminent danger.
Be careful these festive seasons.
Careful careful careful.
Don't forget to like.
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