Stormwater infrastructure is being extended in Senaone, Soweto to channel large volumes of water during intermittent rains.
The Johannesburg Road Agency (JRA), a city-owned entity responsible for road infrastructure, is spearheading the project, which started on Tuesday, March 8.
The entity is replacing the old stormwater system, which is outdated, with a new one in Region D to prevent flooding incidents, which pose a safety risk to residents.
The JRA also carries out routine maintenance of road infrastructure in Soweto.
“The project is going well but, of course, it has its challenges like any other. The intention is to ensure that during stormy rains we have well controlled and managed rainwater,” says Cllr Vusimuzi Ngema , which is responsible for the suburbs of Phiri and Senaone.
“Keeping storm sewers clean and safe takes a collaborative effort. Small acts of accountability and responsibility go a long way in alleviating the problem of clogged sewers,” says MMC of Environment and Infrastructure Services, Cllr Michael Sun.
Sun notes that following recent heavy rains in Johannesburg, which led to flooding of roads, the JRA began installing new stormwater culverts and underground water pipes as part of efforts to ensure Joburg’s road infrastructure is safe and reliable for local communities. Over the next few weeks, the JRA team is expected to unblock curb inlets, refit collapsed drain covers, and remove weeds around curbs to ensure rainwater flows easily down drains. .
“We are installing culverts and storm drains and we currently have three crews. There is a crew of sub-contractors doing manholes, and two other crews from the main contractor who are installing storm drains. 750 mm and break the hard rock”, explains JRA. Construction worker, Mathapelo Sintu.
Sintu says the JRA team must also remove small and large objects on the road, including substances such as cracks or sand that have fallen from trucks, small vehicle parts and other waste such as plastic. and the bottles.
Florence Mashiane, a resident of Senaone, says her food business is badly affected by the operations as motorists struggle to pass the container where she sells due to construction works.
“Construction works are taking place near my house where I normally sell food, not only to people from my neighborhood but also from Dlamini and other nearby areas. As a result, people cannot approach, fearing damage to their cars and the dust caused by the digging,” says Mashiane.
However, she is convinced that once construction is complete, her customers will be able to move around.
One of the beneficiaries of recruitment for the project, Tebogo Gwale who is a general laborer expresses his gratitude to the City for giving him a life-changing job.
He says he is now able to afford the bare necessities at home.
“I was unemployed before I got this job. There is nothing more frustrating than looking for a job, but I was lucky enough to get this job at the City and I am incredibly happy and grateful of this opportunity,” adds Gwale.
The JRA has called on the Soweto community to refrain from dumping rubbish and other non-dirty objects down the storm drains and to report any infrastructure faults via Twitter, Facebook and the Customer Contact Centre: 0860 562 874; alternatively, residents should email the JRA’s [email protected]
Written by Gontse ‘GeE’ Hlophe