“You can’t wait for others to do it”

“One shouldn’t wait for others to do it. Do it yourself!’

Erik Schipper and his team working on the potholes in Skeerpoort

This is what well-known Skeerpoort resident and owner of Van Gaalen Cheese Farm, Erik Schipper said when asked why he is spending his days driving around in his wheelchair on the Skeerpoort road supervising pothole repairs. “I could no longer watch how vehicles’ tyres were being damaged and how people have to drive on the side of the road or on the wrong side of the road to avoid potholes. I have to drive this road myself and it is becoming a really dangerous situation. I believe if you want something done, do it yourself!”

Erik and his workers have been on the road fixing potholes for over a week now and close to 30 potholes have already been filled. “I bought 1.2 tons of tar. We heat it in a drum over a fire next to the road and fill the potholes. Here in our area, we work and stand together and I have already had residents offering assistance. This is also my way of giving back. This community has done a lot for me and supported me through all times. Farmers opened their hearts and gates to allow us the biking trails through their farms. It is important to give back.”

And it seems like nothing can stop this remarkable man and accomplished sportsman who became a quadriplegic after a freak bike accident a couple of years ago. “I have to stay busy, and seeing things like the potholes and nothing being done about it, irritates me. We live in a beautiful area, and we must look after it ourselves. I am doing this for the safety of the community and myself. If it goes well with others, it goes well with me.