Joburg pits: adaptation or DIY

Joburg pits: adaptation or DIY

What will you and I do about the terrible condition of the roads of Johannesburg, exposed by torrential rain? The apocalyptic predictions received a double boost on Monday.

The credentials of the chief executive of the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) have been publicly shredded. The SA Institute of Civil Engineering said that half of South Africa’s public infrastructure has collapsed or collapsed.

Being in the JRA hot seat for three months, Tshepo Mahanuke can’t be blamed for all the potholes and dents. But he is not qualified to fix all this. There have long been allegations of corruption at the JRA, which has an annual budget of R1.7 billion.

In 2018, Shaun Phillips resigned as managing director, citing then-mayor Herman Mashaba’s reluctance to act at the board level on the bids. Simplified, one of the reasons why JRA does not have enough money is that too much cream has been whipped.

Also read: More than 25 million potholes dot the roads of South Australia

We don’t need civil engineers to tell us the country’s infrastructure is collapsing. It is clear. But we need their expertise if we are to prevent further collapse. Residents can’t be blamed for thinking that if they pay world class prices they should expect world class service. But this is not what happens.

No matter how much we ask of managers and employees, they don’t have the resources to do their jobs properly. A lot has been converted. Contracts, new and old, are a mess. Potholes and bumpy roads are not limited to our “cosmopolitan” city.

Potholes everywhere

Potholes are also a big issue in parts of the United States. In Britain, where road tar was invented by John MacAdam (b. 1756), things don’t go smoothly, away from the main highways. This year, backlogs of road repair work in the UK amounted to £12.64 billion (about R257.2 billion).

In March, rock star Rod Stewart (77) staged a pothole repair in his hometown of Harlow in Essex, drawing mixed reviews. Back in Joburg, some residents’ associations were doing similar work, after trying official channels for months.

Hurlingham Manor Residents Association recently dealt with an even worse kind of pothole. The Joburg Water Restorations (JWRs) are creating panic among the councilors. Trouble begins when Joburg Water breaks a road surface or sidewalk. This could be to repair or replace a pipe, trace the source of the leak, or something else. Then the Joburg Water (JW) team leaves.

Previously, the JW and JRA had a somewhat cooperative arrangement. Depending on the nature of the job, JW will backfill the soil either immediately or after a day or two of waiting to check if the repair may leak again.

Also read: An unemployed father fixes potholes to feed his family

After a week or so, the JRA will then meticulously seal the roof with asphalt. However, the JRA has discontinued this in recent years. There were disagreements about which entity would pay and the JRA was not always quick to issue furloughs.

JRA road leave is written permission to carry out work to specification in Joburg thousands of excavations are left open. Torrential rains washed away the backfilled soil. Conversations between JRA and JW are underway again this week.

In my suite, residents are looking for quotes and leave actions. We have to help fix the city and become less dependent on entities. This is the future: adaptation or DIY.

#Joburg #pits #adaptation #DIY

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