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The City of Cape Town’s Transport Directorate has repaired 18 080 potholes and resurfaced 121km of roads across the city since 1 January to 31 August 2021.
The Transport Directorate’s Roads Infrastructure Management branch has been working around the clock the past eight months or so to try and eradicate the backlog caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, a very wet winter season, and delays with asphalt delivery.
‘Capetonians expect only the best service delivery from the City. Since my appointment last month, I have been conducting site visits and having meetings with officials and other stakeholders to try and see how we can improve our road maintenance programme, and speed up delivery. I want to assure residents of the commitment and professionalism I have experienced over the past few weeks. The work is happening and this is becoming more visible as we are covering lost ground,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Councillor Rob Quintas.
The City has 21 roads depots across Cape Town with approximately 1 200 employees who are, on a daily basis, busy with pothole repairs and the clearing and maintenance of stormwater infrastructure.
According to the latest information the City has, since 1 January to 31 August 2021:
‘This is a huge achievement, given that our roads depots have lost 105 working days due to closures related to the Covid-19 pandemic. It does not include the time when the National Government placed the country under Alert Level 5 when no road maintenance was allowed.
‘Each time an employee tests positive for Covid-19, we have to close a depot for a minimum of seven days, and staff need to isolate. We have to do this in the interest of the health and safety of officials who are working hard and long hours to keep our roads and stormwater infrastructure functioning.
‘We do all we can to adapt to these challenges. But the fact remains: these closures have an impact on our ability to work at pace. I want to remind residents that our staff are also impacted by Covid-19, same as others in Cape Town. Some have lost loved ones, some have sadly passed away, and some are still recovering. We cannot ignore how this pandemic is impacting all of us on a personal level,’ said Councillor Quintas.
Due to Covid-19, there have been delays with the delivery of asphalt which is needed to do pothole repairs. The very wet rainy season has also contributed to delays.
‘One of our biggest challenges remain the increase in theft and vandalism of road infrastructure such as stormwater covers, and anything else that can be broken, used or sold. This is having a huge impact on our service delivery, and is draining our budget.
‘Our roads depots do repairs and replace the infrastructure, but must often return to the same spot within days because it has been vandalised or stolen again. I know the vast majority of residents are law abiding citizens, and they are the ones who suffer the most when this happens. All of us need to play our part to prevent and report these activities. Please phone the Transport Information Centre on 0800 65 64 63 with information so that we can act,’ said Councillor Quintas.
The Transport Directorate has recently acquired three vacuum combination machines for high pressure cleaning of blocked stormwater infrastructure.
‘Abuse of the stormwater infrastructure is also acute in some areas where everything possible is dumped into the system. This leads to blockages, and eventually the flooding of roads and even houses. This is why I cannot stress enough how important it is that residents refrain from dumping objects into the system and to report those who do,’ said Councillor Quintas.
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