During the past year, the City of Johannesburg has repaired 117 483 potholes across the city. This is an increase of 22 per cent compared to the previous period in 2015/2016.
Torrential downpours between November last year and January this year resulted in damaged roads throughout the city, causing a proliferation of potholes. To address the issue, executive mayor Herman Mashaba declared a ‘war on potholes’, committing an additional R88 million to fast-track these repairs.
MMC for Transport Nonhlanhla Makhuba said, “I am delighted to confirm that through our positive interventions, the Johannesburg Roads Agency, the City’s entity responsible for the maintenance of our roads, has resolved the crisis by working overtime on evenings and weekends, utilising R60 million for much-needed pothole repair material and equipment.”
She added that funds were also used to appoint contractors to assist with the backlog. In addition, R28 million had been provided to recruit additional road maintenance staff.
Before undertaking these interventions, the agency was not keeping up with increased service requests for pothole repairs following the heavy rains, but this intervention has helped the situation stabilise. These interventions are however only a short-term fix to ensure the safety of road-users while resurfacing and reconstruction of roads remain the long-term solutions to improve roads.
“The City’s 13 428km of roads infrastructure is ageing and has not been sufficiently maintained over many years,” said Makhuba. “This means that potholes, which are a sign of failing surface and structural layers, will continue forming with each new rainy season.
“While the current budget allocation for resurfacing and reconstruction does not fully address these backlogs, it is the intention of the City to gradually increase the budgets for these activities over time.”
In upcoming weeks, the agency will release its latest study which is a visual condition index of the state of the city’s roads. This will explain whether the condition of Joburg’s roads is improving or deteriorating, project future road condition trends, determine maintenance budgetary requirements and inform maintenance projects including resurfacing and rehabilitation.
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