Concerns raised over stability of highway billboard
A CRUMBLING billboard structure is a potentially hazardous risk to pedestrians and motorists using the R24 Albertina Sisulu highway in Ekurhuleni, the municipality confirmed yesterday.
This relates to a crumbling concrete pillar on the structure, where exposed steel is clearly visible due to the disintegrating concrete on the pillar. The potential hazard is caused by the structure being along the busy highway, which is about two minutes from OR Tambo International Airport, a busy pedestrian crossing next to the billboard and a busy road – Andre Greyvenstein Avenue – on the other side of the highway.
Ward councillor in the area Simon Lapping, who raised alarm bells about the splintered billboard, told The Star he saw the structure being built recently. “This billboard was erected about a month ago. I actually watched them installing the pillar holding up the billboard. It begs the question of how a building inspector allowed this to happen,” Lapping said.
Themba Gadebe, spokesperson for the City of Ekurhuleni, said the billboard was approved by the city and the structure was inspected recently.
“The findings are indeed that the structure shows signs of being unsafe and the applicant deviated from the approved plan. A contravention notice will be issued to the owner of the structure to fix or dismantle it, failing which the city will institute legal action against the owner.”
However, Thulani Nkuna – the head of Rivoni Advertising, the media owner responsible for the structure – maintained that the structure was “sound” and did “not pose any hazard to anyone” as two “reputable firms” were responsible for the construction.
The firms in question are Mogul Engineering (under the responsibility of Terence van Niekerk), which was under the supervision of C&S Projects, under the responsibility of Adriaan Naudé.
“Sometime after the work was completed and signed off by the consulting engineers, it was noticed that some of the concrete work on the column was not of required specification. Remedial action was immediately ordered,” Nkuna explained.
“The concrete was removed in order to be poured back with the required specifications. The structure is sound and does not pose any hazard to anyone.”
This was corroborated by Van Niekerk, who said: “The structure is supported by two columns of which the main steel column carries most of the load. We are also in the process of installing temporary steel columns on the concrete column side to provide additional support while we are working on the structure.”
He did not specify how long this would take, only saying it would be remedied “in due course”.
Gadebe said the city had not been informed of this prior to The Star’s enquiry.
EXPOSED: A crumbling concrete pillar supports a billboard on the R24 highway near OR Tambo Airport.