621 18/03/2014 Ismali Vadi Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport launched emergency road maintenance campaign after the recent heavy rainfall, which caused pothole. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha

Johannesburg - Believe or not, 23 504 potholes have been repaired in and around the city since the heavy rains of a couple of months ago.

This according to the Johannesburg Roads Agency, which recently updated media on a variety of matters which have been affecting road users in the city.

The abnormally heavy rains earlier in the year led to infrastructural failures and damage across various areas, with the JRA now confirming that about 70 percent of this damage had been fixed.

JRA managing director Skhumbuzo Macozoma said: “The JRA team worked seven days a week repairing potholes, patching 7981 square metres of road, unblocking and performing minor repairs on 1819 stormwater drains, and ensuring that the city’s 2114 traffic signals were working.”


Bridges damaged by the rains have been a huge focus too, with Macozoma saying that R37 million had been committed to bridge repairs (including culverts and gabions), with nine bridges prioritised.

These include the Main Road culvert at Riverbend Agricultural Holdings, Felstead Road culvert in Northriding, Cornelius Road culvert over the Klein Jukskei River, Niven Road culvert in Douglasdale, Riverside Road bridge in Ivory Park and Coleraine Drive culvert in Sandton.

Macozoma also confirmed that the Third Street culvert, Watercombe Street culvert and Ballyclare Drive Bridge over the Braamfontein Spruit in Bryanston had all been repaired.

In terms of the ongoing traffic light problems across the city, the JRA provided an action plan that included:

Reducing the attractiveness of copper cables to vandals, either by using fewer cores or an alternative material.

Improving the identification of stolen equipment for evidence in court.

Dedicating more staff to fault repairs, and using proactive rather than reactive maintenance.

Improving the earthing of traffic lights, as this was identified as a primary cause for outages during the recent rains.

Remote monitoring to ensure early detection of issues and quicker attention.

Establishing an infrastructure protection unit to deal with vandalism.

Training staff for effective and long-lasting repairs; this would include more effective inspection of the network and the identification, in conjunction with equipment manufacturers of component flaws.

Service level agreements with Eskom on power outages.

Robot and power cable upgrades due to age of equipment.

Ensuring effective construction teams to repair traffic lights damaged by vehicle crashes, as these repairs usually take much longer than technical outages.


We asked the JRA about the damaged and stolen guard rails along our highways and byways, and were told that the previous tender process for suppliers of these lifesaving devices had been abandoned due to poor response.

A budget for the replacements has since been approved, and Macozoma said that the National Roads Agency had been approached for the short-term supply of the necessary materials.

He confirmed that road users should see some improvement in the next three months, and that another tender for new suppliers was imminent.

Macozoma said theft and vandalism was an ongoing problem with guard rails, and that the JRA was working with companies which provide solutions to Eskom for cable theft, and banks for ATM bombings.

He asked that the public be vigilant and report any suspicious activity they come across.

The JRA can be reached at 0860 562 874, by e-mail, on Facebook or via Twitter.

There’s also the new JRA app which can be found in your app store for free download. - Star Motoring

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