‘War on potholes’ gains momentum

Johannesburg – The Johannesburg Road Agency (JRA) has declared a ‘war on potholes’ in the city.

  JRA said they have made considerable progress in a 60-day action campaign.

  At a media briefing on last Wednesday JRA acting COO Siyabonga Genu said after the festive period there was a backlog of about 4 000 potholes which needed to be fixed.

  “This campaign was launched on January 28 to deal with this backlog, and the deadline for the potholes to be fixed is March 28, and as of Tuesday, 3 000 had already been fixed.”

  Genu noted that there were more potholes outside this backlog, and that more would develop perpetually owing to the condition of the city’s road infrastructure. “To tackle these potholes, the JRA will work together with small, medium-sized and micro enterprises; and has made additional teams available to ensure all potholes that are reported are dealt with.”

  Genu noted that this is an interim measure and did not deal with the underlying problem of the city’s road infrastructure. He explained that the city’s roads were never built to accommodate such high volumes of traffic, which was ever increasing as the city and economy developed.

  “The road infrastructure problems are exacerbated by climate change, with heavier rainfalls experienced at unseasonable times during the year, which the storm water drainage system does not have the capacity to deal with.

This causes water to run into roads, which damages the tar and asphalt. The city has grown faster than its infrastructure,” Genu said.

  He added that the JRA would deal with the underlying problems and rehabilitate or reconstruct the roads. “Bringing all the roads in the city to an acceptable level would cost about R20-billion, which the budget cannot accommodate. JRA will continue to fix potholes until more funds become available for more extensive rehabilitation,” he said.

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