City of Johannesburg’s MMC for Transport Nonhlanhla Makhuba said over the past year the City has fixed 117 483 potholes – a significant increase of 26 945 or 22% more potholes repaired than last year, Northcliff Melville Times reports.
Following several torrential downpours between November last year and January this year, which damaged roads across the City, pothole repairs were prioritised.
To address the crisis, the Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba, declared a so-called war on potholes and budgeted R88 million to fast track the repair of failing road surfaces and potholes.
“I am delighted to confirm that through our positive interventions, the Johannesburg Roads Agency has resolved the crisis by working overtime on evenings and weekends, utilising R60 million for much needed pothole repair material and equipment. The funds were also utilised in appointing contractors to supplement internal capacity to assist with the backlog. Added to this, R28 million has been provided to recruit the 40% agency road maintenance staff capacity shortages,” Makhuba said.
Before these interventions the agency was not keeping up with increased service requests for pothole repairs following heavy rains, but the interventions have stabilised the situation.
“While the interventions have made a progressive impact on the quality of roads and public safety, pothole repairs are a short-term fix to ensure the safety of all road users while resurfacing and reconstruction of roads remain the long-term solution to improving the overall condition of the road network.”
The MMC said the City’s 13 428km roads infrastructure was ageing and had not been sufficiently maintained over many years. This means that potholes – which are a sign of failing surface and structural layers – will continue forming with every 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.”
– Caxton News Service