Fam­ily’s fears deepen over gar­den sink­holes

The Star Late Edition - - METRO WATCH - ANNA COX anna.cox@inl.co.za

City Power has de­vised in­ter­ven­tions to mit­i­gate causes of the power out­ages men­tioned above.

To deal with theft and van­dal­ism City Power has be­gun to in­stall alarm sys­tems at its sub­sta­tions. Bare over­head ca­bles are re­placed with alu­minium con­duc­tors. To min­imise ca­ble faults, City Power is re­plac­ing ob­so­lete ca­bles with new net­work equip­ment that has in­creased ca­pac­ity to han­dle the cur­rent load.

It is also build­ing Lutz sub­sta­tion which once com­pleted will take pres­sure off the Wilro Park sub­sta­tion. City Power has un­der­taken to in­crease su­per­vi­sion over third party con­trac­tors work­ing in prox­im­ity of its ca­bles in or­der to pre­vent po­ten­tial dam­age to its in­fra­struc­ture. In the past few weeks, we have been able to pre­vent a num­ber of sim­i­lar in­ci­dents.

While the in­ter­ven­tions may take a few years to be fully ef­fec­tive, City Power can­not rule out the pos­si­bil­ity of power out­ages in the in­terim. MICHAEL NEU-NER WRITES: Please can you as­sist? The street lights in Jukskei Av­enue in Gallo Manor are not work­ing.

I re­ported the prob­lem on Fe­bru­ary 7 and sent a re­minder on Fe­bru­ary 20. Both my e-mails were ac­knowl­edged. I even phoned City of Joburg call cen­tre and re­ported it, and so did my neigh­bour.

In spite of all that, now, more than a month later, we are still in the dark NEU-NER WRITES AGAIN: Thanks to ev­ery­one con­cerned, and yes, the lights have been fixed.

ADESPERATE Florida Hills, Rood­e­poort, fam­ily is at its wits’ end over two large, deep and po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous sink­holes that have de­vel­oped in their gar­den.

Marcelle van Dyk says that stormwa­ter drains run­ning un­der her prop­erty have be­come cor­roded over the years, which have caused the sink­holes.

She says neigh­bour­ing prop­er­ties, un­der which the same stormwa­ter drains run, are also at the same risk.

But de­spite n u m e r o u s prom­ises from the Joburg Roads Agency (JRA) to come and do the re­pairs, the lat­est prom­ise be­ing af­ter the Easter long week­end, no one has ap­peared.

In the mean­time, her house has started sink­ing, with re­sul­tant cracks in walls.

“We have had five JRA teams here, all con­firm­ing that it is cor­roded stormwa­ter drains, and ev­ery­one says they are go­ing to es­ca­late the prob­lem, but noth­ing ever gets done.

“I don’t know what to do. We want to sell the prop­erty, but can­not do so with these holes. This has been go­ing on for more than a year.

“If the ground col­lapses fur­ther or if there is more dam­age to my house or if there is any in­jury to any­one on my prop­erty, I am go­ing to sue the JRA. I am not sure what to do any­more as far as the JRA is con­cerned as no one is tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity,” she said.

JRA spokesper­son Bertha Scheep­ers said the agency has a p p o i n t e d c o ns ul t i ng engi­neers to en­sure that the is­sue is per­ma­nently re­solved as a mat­ter of ur­gency.

“The project will en­tail thor­ough site in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the ex­ist­ing stormwa­ter in­fra­struc­ture and then re­me­dial ac­tion.

“The ini­tial in­ves­ti­ga­tion from two weeks ago has re­vealed that there is an ex­ist­ing cor­ru­gated sheet­ing stormwa­ter pipe which has di­lap­i­dated above the course of its life­span.

“The di­lap­i­da­tion re­sulted in cav­i­ta­tion and struc­tural dam­age to the prop­erty at Mato­pos Street.

“At this point the in­di­ca­tion is that the cor­ru­gated sheet­ing stormwa­ter pipe may have been left to be re­dun­dant, al­ter­na­tively it may be con­nect­ing to a dif­fer­ent sys­tem from the one that was in­ves­ti­gated.

“The next step will be to con­duct a spe­cialised ser­vice with a CCTV sys­tem and the X-ray sur­vey of stormwa­ter pipes to con­clu­sively de­ter­mine the lay­out of the stormwa­ter pipes sys­tem.

“This will be done shortly, where­after a rec­om­men­da­tion and im­ple­men­ta­tion of nec­es­sary re­me­dial ac­tion will be un­der­taken,” she said.

@an­na­cox

The project will en­tail thor­ough site in­ves­ti­ga­tion

PIC­TURES: NHLANHLA PHILLIPS

UN­PLEAS­ANT SUR­PRISE: Sink­holes (top and be­low) have de­vel­oped in the gar­den of a prop­erty in Florida Hills.

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