JRA urges legal pothole filling amid service delivery challenges
As frustrations with service delivery persist throughout the city, proactive residents have taken matters into their own hands, adopting a do-it-yourself approach to address various challenges, including the infamous potholes. However, the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) is cautioning communities to ensure they have the necessary permissions before embarking on public road repairs, emphasising the importance of filling in potholes legally.
According to JRA spokesperson Bertha Peters-Scheepers, anyone can undertake road repair work if they apply for a specific wayleave, which grants them official permission and ensures compliance with the required conditions. In addition, the JRA collaborates closely with the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) to enforce by-laws governing road repairs. If necessary, the JMPD acts as the enforcing partner, following the regulations of public road by-laws.
Interested individuals can visit the JRA’s website at www.jra.org.za to obtain a wayleave and access other helpful information. Peters-Scheepers emphasised that a wayleave is necessary to ensure proper signage installation, effective traffic management, and legal protection for those working on the road.
Potholes typically form when water infiltrates the underlying structural layers of the road, washing away rock particles and causing localised collapse. Peters-Scheepers noted that poor surface conditions increase the likelihood of water penetration and subsequent pothole formation, especially after heavy rainfall. While pothole repairs serve as a temporary solution to ensure road user safety, long-term improvements to the road network involve resurfacing or reconstruction.
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When residents report a pothole to the JRA, the system logs a service request, and a regional depot inspector assesses the road to determine the necessary repairs. Then, individual pothole repairs, deep patching for larger surfaces, road resurfacing, or reconstruction are carried out based on the inspection’s findings and the depot’s work schedule and resources. Once workers complete the job, the system closes the service request.
It is essential to recognise that conducting unauthorised work on roads can have significant cost implications, including damage to roads and other infrastructure, vehicles, and injury to road users. Moreover, such activities can reduce the practical life of roadways and cause delays, resulting in social costs. Therefore, the JRA emphasises the need for careful control and coordination of all road work, which is their responsibility.
Recourse is available if a road user experiences damage due to a pothole. The JRA has public liability insurance that covers personal injury, property damage, and vehicle damage. During the 2021/2022 financial year, the JRA paid R116,155,662.80 in public liability claims, with a significant portion attributed to pothole-related vehicle and wheel damage.
Residents are encouraged to report potholes or road defects via email at [email protected], by contacting the Customer Contact Centre at 0860 562 874, or by reaching out to the JRA through their social media channels on Twitter and Facebook. In urgent cases where the JRA has not addressed dangerous or life-threatening potholes, residents can escalate the matter by emailing [email protected], including the original call logging reference number. Additionally, ward councillors can be alerted to contact the relevant regional depot for assistance.
Source: Fill in potholes legally, says JRA despite lack of service delivery
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