Having just travelled 4,193 kilometres through seven of the nine provinces, the award for the worst roads in the country must, without any doubt be given to the Free State. Their tar roads make travelling on the dirt roads in the Northern Cape a breeze.
The term "pot holes" is something of a misnomer though. The
Afrikaans term, "slag gate" is more appropriate - it literally
translates into "slaughter holes." These potholes have the potential
to destroy tyres and suspensions, so you have to exercise special care when
driving along their roads, or be prepared to fork out a fortune in repair
I do not have any pictures of the potholes, but this series from one of the
deviations between Wepener and Lady Brand paints a pretty good, or should I
rather say bad picture of what to expect.
While it is encouraging that the roads are being repaired, do not expect their contractors to spare you when you reach a deviation. I am sure that there must be a bunch of bureaucrats sitting in an office somewhere, taking bets on how many suspensions and tyres are likely to be destroyed on their roads.
To compound the problem I find that many of the Free State drivers show very little patience on the road and I get the distinct impression that they are generally in a BIG hurry to reach their destinations.
Even the light weights head for the verge and all its "boulders" to overtake.
I had the camera ready just in case the truck went over, but it managed to get past unscathed.
And the trucks just kept on coming...........
So, if you are planning to travel through the South Eastern part of the Free
State, be warned you are in for a rough ride.
The final word is, how do our authorities get away with letting the roads fall
into such a poor state of repair?