Johannesburg needs a complete refurbishment to fix its infrastructure challenges. This is according to the city’s mayor, Herman Mashaba.
To address the city’s infrastructure issues, he said over the next four years he aimed to turn the entire city into a construction site to have roads resurfaced, cables replaced and water pipes dug up.
“This means resurfacing and reconstructing our roads rather than just plugging the holes. It means new sub-stations with higher capacities and it means new water pipes with larger diameters to feed growing communities.
“With the age of our city infrastructure, it demands an approach where we move away from relying on repairs,” said Mashaba.
He said the Johannesburg has one electricity sub-station that is 30 years past its useful lifespan that supplies the entire inner city.
“No service parts are available for this sub-station any longer – they stopped making those parts 20 years ago.”
Johannesburg also suffers 45 000 water pipe leaks.
He added that the Johannesburg infrastructure also could not match the growth and changes of its communities.
“Can you imagine that our road network is deteriorating because the R1 billion budget of Johannesburg Roads Agency is inadequate to even just maintain the condition of our roads, let alone improve it?”
Mashaba lambasted the maladministration committed by his predecessors.
“The truth is that much of our infrastructure was built in the dark days of apartheid, designed to exclusively serve small white communities.
“City entities have been hit by institutionalised corruption and crime, which worsen the issues,” he added.
Mashaba said there were more than 2000 cases under investigation that totalled more than R16 billion, of which R153 million was spent in two years on self-promotional advertising and R193 million spent in three years on travel.
“Never before has there been an appreciation of how fraud and corruption has robbed the poorest in our city.
Mashaba presented proposals of how to fund the renewal of Johannesburg’s infrastructure.
“I am initiating a new approach to our budget planning cycles, which will ensure that we will be able to divert the required resources.”
By 2021, he said the city will see better roads, less power outages and a stable water supply and reduced losses.