The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) has set the launch of the City of Johannesburg’s Roads Rehabilitation and Reconstruction program for Oct. 9, with an initial budget of R80 million as part of its response plan to a Visual Condition Index conducted in 2013, confirming the current state of roads in the South African city. This forms part of the JRA’s R5.6 billion budget for the period 2014 to 2016 as approved by the City of Johannesburg for various capital projects. This is over and above the JRA’s operational budget allocated for routine road infrastructure maintenance across the City, according to Johannesburg officials.

The rollout of the response plan to the Visual Condition Index, started in 2013 with the launch of the City’s roads resurfacing programme. The programme required R1 billion over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and is adequately funded, according to City officials. R140 million was spent during 2013-2014 and the budget for 2014-2015 is R190 million. The road resurfacing is an ongoing program of works and forms part of the City’s continued commitment to investing in and improving the road network of the City of Johannesburg.

The JRA is now finalizing city-wide bridge inspections, and the bridge repairs program also forms part of the response plan. This year R65 million is being budgeted for bridge expansion joints and overtopping of bridges in Soweto as well as the construction of the new Naledi Bridge.

Furthermore, the entity has commenced a storm water infrastructure audit to inform a repair program that also forms part of the response plan. Over R100m will be spent within this financial year on various storm water projects across the City.

“The JRA has successfully developed a 5 year strategy for road network management, has conducted infrastructure audits, is upgrading Road Asset Management Systems and is now rolling out a structured response plan to the current condition of roads in the City. A draft 10 year roads plan has also been developed and will be finalized soon” said Skhumbuzo Macozoma, JRA managing director.