Roads in Johannesburg, South Africa’s bustling commercial capital, may look world class and well, but the reality on the ground is shocking and unbelievable, critics say.
“Road conditions have deteriorated due to a lack of maintenance and systems over the past five years. A recently completed Visual Condition Assessment (VCA) shows that the city’s roads have deteriorated by 25% since the last assessment in 2008,” Democratic Alliance (DA) city councillor in charge of transport Nico de Jager said in a statement issued on Thursday.
The DA is South Africa’s leading political opposition party. Johannesburg is South Africa’s economic nerve centre, providing close to 15% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“It is the primary function of the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) to ensure a safe reliable movement of the economy, to ensure a road infrastructure and traffic signaling system that meets the agreed Key Performance Indicators (KPI), de Jager said.
He also said that the city’s roads are a world class fiasco in terms of traffic, which he said is largely attributed to inefficient systems, ageing infrastructure (including cabling), lack of qualified technicians and a lack of service level agreements between other city entities (City Power) and parastatals such as Telkom and Eskom.
Telkom is government-controlled telecommunications company, while Eskom is the country’s national power supplier.
The JRA has failed spectacularly in its mandate to ensure that traffic signaling meets the required targets, he said, alleging that all this is due to lack of political will and financial mismanagement at the road agency.
The JRA was not immediately available for comment at the time of going to press.
Photo: Johannesburg roads may look world class, but they are not what they pretend to be, critics say. Credit: Joburg.org.za