Two employees working for the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) have been placed on precautionary suspension after they were caught on camera flattening asphalt in a newly filled pothole in Norwood using an agency bakkie.
In a statement on Monday, the JRA said the employees had violated the agency’s “norms and standards on road maintenance works” as the vehicle was not permitted to carry out such work.
“What the officials were seen doing in the video is against the JRA’s standards and norms on road maintenance works and such behaviour is highly regrettable and condemned. Two of the officials identified in the footage have been placed on precautionary suspension,” it said.
The agency confirmed an investigation into the incident, adding that the employees involved would be held accountable.
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“A full investigation on the matter was instituted to ascertain if there are other officials involved and following the investigation, necessary steps and actions will be taken to hold the officials in question accountable.
“In a bid to address the regrettable matter as speedily as possible, an investigation report will be submitted to the office of the chief executive officer in no later than 48 hours.
“The JRA prides itself in carrying out its work in the most professional, correct and respectable way without compromising the agency’s reputation and the safety and wellbeing of the community members and road users it is tasked to serve.
“Considering what has transpired, no number of words can fully express how shamed and regretful the JRA is by the actions of officials who should know better and do better at all material times. ”
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While the JRA board is being investigated for allegedly interfering with supply chain processes, it was reported back in March that the agency was unable to produce asphalt at a R50 million plant it acquired in 2017.
This created a pothole backlog for the agency as the plant has not produced a single kilogram of asphalt for more than five months according to Moneyweb.
The plant in Booysens was intended to “speed up service delivery”. However, it has been plagued by breakdowns and “operational issues”.
The pothole backlog saw Roodepoort residents fix 100 potholes on key arterial routes themselves after complaints submitted to the JRA went unanswered.