Having recently unveiled his plans to tackle the city’s traffic light challenges, Joburg’s executive mayor, Herman Mashaba, has turned his attention to failing road surfaces.
Mashaba this week declared war on potholes by announcing an R88 million mayoral intervention to address the pothole repair backlog, city wide.
The mayor announced the following interventions which have been put in place to address the current pothole repair backlogs:
- The City provided additional funding to the JRA in the 2016/17 Adjustment Budget: R60 million for materials and equipment for pothole repairs and other types of road maintenance; and R28 million to start to address the 40% staff capacity shortage in the road maintenance teams.
- A contractor has been appointed to assist with the repair of potholes while additional staff are being recruited.
- Pothole repair teams are working overtime to tackle the backlog, including on weekends.
“As part of this exercise, a city-wide inspection will be carried out in accordance with the use of JRA’s Visual Condition Index (VCI) criteria, every two years, to enable the scientific prioritisation of roads for reconstruction and resurfacing,” Mashaba said.
He said that the 2017 city wide VCI inspection indicates that 40% of the City’s roads are in very good condition, 15% in a good condition, 15% in a fair condition, 14% in a poor condition and 15% in a very poor condition.
Through JRA’s integrated citizen communications channels, 37,450 potholes were reported between April 2015 and February 2017, of which 32,740 have been resolved. This indicates an 87.4% resolution rate.
“However, the time taken to repair potholes does not meet our resident’s demand for a professional public service which is caring and responsive, and the JRA is working on improving the turn-around time for the repair of potholes,” the mayor said.
Mashaba stressed that pothole repairs are a short-term fix to ensure the safety of all road users, while resurfacing and/or reconstruction of roads remain the long term solutions.
As an interim solution, roads that have deteriorated but do not meet the VCI criteria for prioritisation within the available funding will undergo routine maintenance. “This will include pothole repairs and deep patching where possible, until roads are scheduled and budgeted for resurfacing or reconstruction,” the mayor said.