DUE to the hard lockdown the City was unable to attend to potholes and routine road maintenance and is now sitting with a backlog of pothole repairs.
Mayco member for Transport Felicity Purchase said alert Level 5 of the national lockdown coincided with the Transport Directorate’s annual Winter Readiness Programme in preparing for the rainy season.
“The roads and stormwater services were not considered essential services, according to national regulations. This resulted in the Roads and Stormwater depots reducing their workforce, in compliance with the Covid-19 health and safety protocols. The City was unable to attend to potholes and routine road maintenance as desired by both the City and its residents due to the hard lockdown,” said Purchase.
She added that the rainy season had exacerbated the deterioration of roads, but that they recently commenced with the pothole repair programme in various areas across the city to clear the backlog .
“Pothole repairs are usually carried out internally. However, as part of our recovery plan to deal with the excessive backlog, we will use the help of contractors through a tender process. However, City project managers will monitor the work to ensure quality assurance,” said Purchase.
Potholes vary in size and the average cost to repair a 1m x 1m size pothole is R400; a larger reinstatement with a typical size of 6.5m x 0.5m costs about R1 300, and a surface patch of about 6m x 5m is approximately R7 000.
“The citywide maintenance work is scheduled to take place until April 2021, pending unforeseen delays and inclement weather. The work will be implemented between 8am and 4.30pm, Monday to Friday,” said Purchase.
Work is currently under way in several areas, that had a significantly higher number of complaints, including; Ruyterwacht, Elsies River, Parow, Uitsig and Valhalla Park.
“I want to encourage residents to please report potholes to the Transport Information Centre on 080 065 6463. Alternatively, residents can email Transport.Info@capetown.gov.za. Residents should include their name, contact number and the exact location of the pothole as this will assist with the response time,” said Purchase.
The City’s Portfolio Chair for Transport, Angus McKenzie said the normal turnaround for fixing of potholes was 48 hours before the backlog.
“While there is a backlog with new complaints coming in, we are working towards clearing the backlog. When we moved to level one we had a full workforce at the depots,” said McKenzie.