Johannesburg mayor says inherited “staggering” service delivery backlogs


JOHANNESBURG, May 2 – The city council in Johannesburg, which is controlled by the opposition Democratic Alliance, faces a “staggering” backlog in delivering services to residents inherited from the ruling African National Congress, Mayor Herman Mashaba said on Wednesday.

In a speech on the state of the city, Mashaba said Johannesburg was saddled with 100,000  potholes arising from a R11.8 billion backlog in its road network.

“In 2017, over 3,900 kilometers of our roads had fallen into the classification of poor or very poor conditions. This is the equivalent length of road that would take someone from Johannesburg to Nairobi,” he said.

“This has been made worse by a R56 billion backlog in stormwater drainage, that results in the increasing the structural decline of our roads.”

He said 78 percent of the city’s 900 bridges were classified as being in either poor or very poor condition, and R6.5 billion was required to address this.

The electrical network was similarly in disarray, with over 27 percent of bulk transformers now operating beyond their useful lifespan, ranging between 48 and 91 years old.

“Our electrical infrastructure backlog sits at a staggering R17 billion,” Mashaba said. “This is experienced by our residents suffering 170,000 low voltage outages in this financial year alone.”

Available data from 2016/17, showed that Johannesburg’s water network suffered 45,000 leaks per year. he said. Its housing list stood at 152,000 people, with a need for 300,000 city produced housing opportunities.

– African News Agency (ANA)