COV­ERS OF PO­TEN­TIAL DEATH TRAPS RE­PLACED

The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE -

MISS­ING man­hole cov­ers are a death trap. In the 2016/17 fi­nan­cial year, 104 peo­ple were killed in Joburg by fall­ing into these un­cov­ered holes. The to­tal was 99 in the 2014/15 year.

The City of Joburg yes­ter­day an­nounced that, through the Jo­han­nes­burg Roads Agency, it was em­bark­ing on a cam­paign to re­place the miss­ing cov­ers.

Mayor Her­man Mashaba of­fi­cially launched the city­wide project to safe­guard res­i­dents and road users dur­ing flash flood­ing in time for the summer rains.

The new cov­ers, which are SABS ap­proved, are made from poly­mer, which is a com­bi­na­tion of fi­bre­glass, rub­ber and resin. They are slightly cheaper than the steel ver­sions, at R900 a cover.

Last year, some 4 000 cov­ers were stolen, and this does not in­clude Jo­han­nes­burg Wa­ter cov­ers, which are dif­fer­ent in shape.

“We have in­her­ited a jun­gle; there is no law and or­der in this city and we have to ad­dress this and make civil so­ci­ety aware of the dan­gers of break­ing by-laws,” said the mayor.

The project forms part of the city’s ef­forts to im­prove stormwa­ter man­age­ment and min­imise ur­ban and res­i­den­tial flood­ing.

This fol­lows the mayor’s an­nounce­ment of the city’s 2016/17 ad­just­ment bud­get, where the JRA re­ceived ad­di­tional fund­ing to­wards ad­dress­ing road and re­lated in­fra­struc­ture back­logs.

“The decades-long ne­glect of in­fra­struc­ture main­te­nance means there is still a huge moun­tain to climb to ef­fec­tively ad­dress our city’s age­ing roads and in­fra­struc­ture chal­lenges.

“How­ever, this ad­min­is­tra­tion is com­mit­ted to ad­dress­ing the city’s chal­lenges for the ben­e­fit of all our res­i­dents.”

PIC­TURE: DIMPHO MAJA

HAZ­ARD: The City of Joburg has em­barked on re­plac­ing old, steel man­hole cov­ers with ones made of poly­mer, which is of no com­mer­cial value. Mayor Her­man Mashaba launched the project in New­town yes­ter­day.

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