A HIGH number of deaths as a result of open manholes have prompted the City of Johannesburg to prioritize the replacement of the manhole covers.
Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, Clr Herman Mashaba officially launched the City’s much-needed manhole cover replacement project on August 10, starting in the inner city’s Helen Joseph Street.
WORKING: Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, Clr Herman Mashaba drilling through the concrete around the old metal manhole. *Photo: Lucky Thusi.
This decade long neglect of infrastructure maintenance has resulted in the reported 99 deaths in 2014/15 and 104 deaths in 2016/17 and this was due to manholes left uncovered throughout the City.
Clr Mashaba said this project forms part of the City’s future network upgrades plan, which aims to improve our road infrastructure which is an essential component of boosting the City’s economy and creating job opportunities.
STAKEHOLDERS: Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) and the City’s officials at the launch of the manhole cover replacement project. *Photo: Lucky Thusi.
“By ensuring that businesses can transport their goods and reach consumers and that our residents are able to safely move across the City, we will be a step closer to reaching our goal of achieving 5 per cent economic growth within the City by 2021. The project is expected to be completed by December 15 this year for all 4 000 of the City’s uncovered manholes. In prioritising commuter safety, construction work will be carried out during off-peak times during the day to fast-track planned upgrades with minimal impact on road users and pedestrians. The project will also include traffic accommodation, relocation of services, storm-water, roadworks, road signs and markings.
“Our administration has developed a comprehensive approach to the maintenance, development and expansion of the City’s road network. The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) has been allocated an operating budget of R1.1 billion in the 2017/18 financial year, and a three-year capital budget of R4-Billion,” explained the Mayor.
NEW PROJECT: JRA’s worker putting the final touches and the new manhole. *Photo: Lucky Thusi.
He further said he would, therefore, like to thank the residents of Joburg for their patience while they address the current problems of under-maintained roads. The decades-long neglect of infrastructure maintenance means there are still substantial infrastructure challenges which require attention.
FINAL PRODUCT: Done deal, the new plastic manhole cover that has just been replaced. Photo: Lucky Thusi.