Johannesburg – The City of Joburg is falling apart.
This is what many ward councillors and residents are claiming, as potholes, water leaks, power outages, illegal businesses, dumping and squatter camps are happening all over with the city, with what appears as little being done by the authorities.
The city has admitted it has 219 informal, illegal settlements which are contributing to the grime in the city.
There are claims the city’s Johannesburg Roads Agency’s (JRA) asphalt plant has run out of tar, which has resulted in thousands of potholes in many areas, but the agency has not replied to questions from The Star.
Carlos da Rochas, who is ward councillor for the Bez Valley area, said he has never seen the city in such a state of grime and disrepair.
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“The city is in total disrepair. Service delivery is non-existent. The JRA is in shambles. The infrastructure in my ward 66 has collapsed and I don’t see any attempts to repair the problems. I have JRA issues going as far back as two years, with no possible resolution in sight,” he said.
A resident of the Jeppe area, Joshua Ndlovu, said the area is a complete mess.
“There are huge potholes all over the area. We, as residents, have taken to putting warnings in the holes such as discarded items and even broken chairs, into potholes, to warn motorists. We have seen many motorists in this area plunge into the potholes, causing tyre bursts.”
A Highlands North resident, Sydney Browne, said the roads of the north-eastern suburbs of Joburg are hazardous.
“In the Orange Grove, Louis Botha Avenue and Kew areas, there is dumping all over and massive potholes. Some residents’ associations such as Norwood, have taken to hiring private contractors to clean and repair pavements,” he said.
A business owner in the CBD, who would not be named, said he was losing a lot of customers and tenants because of the state of the inner city..
The city however, says its year-long R10 million #KleenaJoburg campaign has resulted in “significant progress” being made.
The campaign has expanded with also targeting several businesses that included butcheries, furniture and cellphone shops, bottle stores, and even a church, found with bridged meters, illegal connections and unregistered meters in areas such as Randburg CBD and Roodepoort CBD.
City mayor Geoffrey Makhubo and member of the mayoral committee (MMC) for environment and infrastructure services Mpho Moerane said the campaign has been addressing service delivery in all the seven regions.