Johannesburg roads crisis: only 6% of bridges considered in good condition

Johannesburg roads crisis: only 6% of bridges considered in good condition

- The Johannesburg Roads Agency has revealed that only 52 of 902 bridges in the metro are considered to be in a good condition

- The agency said 37 bridges had collapsed in the city since 2013 and noted that 700 bridges were in dire need of repairs

- Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has laid the blame for the poor maintenance squarely with the previous ANC-led administration

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The City of Johannesburg faces a roads crisis, this according to the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) which revealed that only 6% of bridges within the metro were considered to be in a good condition. The JRA said that around 700 bridges within the metro were in dire need of repairs.

The JRA noted that out of a total of 902 bridges under its control it considered only 52 of those to be in adequate or good condition with the remainder either needing immediate or imminent repair work.

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Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba did not mince his words when he dished out blame for the shocking state of bridges in the metro. Mashaba said the blame for the poor maintenance should be placed with the previous ANC-led administration.

Briefly.co.za gathered that Mashaba said the successive previous administrations had failed to properly maintain roads and bridges and had been underspending in this critical arena since 1994.

Mashaba made the comments during an oversight visit to the Shelby and Karsene Bridge on the M2 on Monday. According to News24.com one lane of the bridge had to be closed after engineers found the roadway was sinking and was in danger of collapsing entirely.

eNCA.com reported that the JRA noted that 37 bridges within the greater Johannesburg metropole had collapsed since 2013. The JRA said repairs to the M2 bridge would start in October and take at least 12 months to complete.

Motorists have taken a pragmatic view of the inconvenience and said while the situation was not ideal and would cause heavy traffic delays it was in everyone’s best interests for the work to commence immediately.

Mashaba said Johannesburg faced a shocking R170 billion shortfall in infrastructure budget and that the city simply did not have the money to address all of the problems which it currently faced.

The mayor noted that engineers had only brought the current M2 bridge problem to his attention two-week ago despite knowing about the potential problem for more than two years. He added that the city would try and raise R50 million to cover the deficit to the repair bill.

Mashaba said financial statements from previous years proved that the city had failed to spend more than 2% of its annual budget on bridge repairs, this despite National Treasury expecting a figure of between 8-10%.

The ANC in Johannesburg has slammed Mashaba for blaming the previous administration for the poor condition of roads and bridges in the city and said Mashaba was using the matter as an election ploy.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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