The City of Johannesburg says it plans to focus on ‘the basics’ in the next five years, including basic infrastructure tasks such as fixing potholes and ensuring power outages are kept to a minimum.
The proposals are included in the city’s new draft Integrated Development Plans (IDP) which are currently open for public comment.
“In a city that gets the basics right, residents do not have to worry about potholes, broken street lights and crumbling infrastructure. Recognising this, a cornerstone of the city’s development plan is to ensure improved access to quality and affordable basic services, safe roads and well-maintained public spaces.
“The preservation and protection of the natural environment for the health and wellness of current and future generations is also a vital component of this priority.”
Some of the specific interventions which have been proposed by the city include:
- A R20 billion rand investment in fixing, replacing, and upgrading your roads, bridges, water pipes, wastewater plants, and the power grid;
- Access to clean drinking water for all residents;
- Implement water management systems-reduction in water leaks;
- Water leaks fixed within 24 hours;
- Potholes filled within 72 hours;
- A vast reduction in electricity outages;
- More recycling at source in collaboration with reclaimers;
- Integration of waste pickers into the waste value chain.
The City’s growing potholes have increasingly been addressed by private players, with Dialdirect Insurance and Discovery Insure announcing a partnership in 2021 to help fix the crumbling roads.
The insurers said that the ‘pothole patrol’ initiative will contribute to reducing the frequency and severity of road accidents across the city for insured and uninsured drivers alike. It will also help the city align with international road safety standards.
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has previously indicated that the funding required to sustain the South African road network through pothole repairs is estimated at R700 to R1,500/per square meter.
However, Mbalula said that completely removing potholes in the country would be an almost impossible task. “It is difficult to eradicate potholes on the road network as the emergence of new potholes depends entirely on the extent and nature of rainfall in that month or year,” he said.
“It is important to note that the road maintenance funding allocated from the national fiscus is not sufficient to maintain the road network in the three spheres of government as there are competing needs to all sectors.”