Shoddy work, promises don’t cut it with North Riding residents

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st metro northriding021 Supplied DOWN THE DRAIN: A stormwater drain in Blandford Road, North Riding has been left broken and open for a year.

SOME of the roads in ward 115, Fourways/North Riding, are so bad, say residents, that it is no longer about “driving on the left side of the road”, but “driving on what is left of some of the roads”.

Missing manhole covers and illegal dumping in the area are also leading to crime.

Ward councillor Susan Mottram says the infamous Blandford Road in North Riding is a case in point.

A section of it is now an “established” dumpsite that residents, developers and businesses trash without consequence every day. There is no intervention by JRA and no policing.

“As a result of council’s disinterest in protecting its citizens and environment, despite repeated appeals to the city, nothing has been done for a year. Residents take it upon themselves to clean their own portions of the road,” she said.

Blandford Road is now a “stinking, diseased pit which, linked to this, has become a hot spot for escalating serious crime. But the lives of the people who live in and pass through this suburb are very obviously of little consequence to this local government,” she said.

Added to Blandford Road’s woes are that the pavements that it intersects with, at Hyperion Road, look like a war zone.

“The pavement has been buckled, gouged and ripped to shreds by violent bursts of water that have regularly gushed from aged and broken pipes. Kerbing has been lifted, an Eskom pole felled and the surface does not provide a safe and accessible walkway.

“These pavements have been left unattended as a monument of the carelessness,” she said.

The number of potholes in ward 115 has increased dramatically. A resident, Jennifer Pillay, says now that the rainy season has started, conditions are worsening.

“We belong to ward 115 and councillor Susan Mottram has been tirelessly trying to sort this out but to no avail. The hole outside the Methodist Church in Blandford Road was fixed at the beginning of the year, but the workmanship was shoddy,” she said.

The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) says it is aware of problems surrounding ward 115 and its depot maintenance teams have “already commenced with the process of dealing with service delivery issues in this area as per our maintenance programme schedule”.

JRA spokesman Sam Modiba said the JRA maintenance programme was in line with the City of Joburg’s integrated development plan and ward 115 fell within that plan.

“The Mayoral Integrated Service Delivery Programme is bearing results in other regions where this approach has already been implemented.

“This is where all the city’s entities work in a collaborated effort to deal with service delivery issues,” he said.

In response to road defects in ward 115, Modiba said:

l Around the damaged manhole at Quelea and Alexandra streets, Fourways, the area was made safe with barricading. The new cover will be replaced as soon as the depot receives slabs.

l Illegal dumping at Blandford Road – the portion of land where dumping is taking place is privately owned. When the open land is full, rubble is being dumped on the side of the gravel road.

Pikitup and JRA conduct regular cleaning but, because of repeated dumping, the problem is not resolved permanently.

The JRA will engage JMPD to increase law enforcement in this area.

The residents, in conjunction with the ward councillor, requested this road to be closed.

JRA traffic engineers have approved this, on condition that it will be paid for by the residents.

l The blocked sewer drain was reported and repaired and unblocked by Joburg Water. The JRA’s depot in Region E will increase network monitoring in this area.

l Potholes are being repaired on a proactive basis and the JRA has budgetary provision to intensify this activity as the rainy season begins.

This process was launched on October 1 in Region E, and all the hot spots that were identified in this region were receiving attention, he said.


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