The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA), impacted by Covid-19-related challenges, recently experienced a shortage in asphalt production, which has affected the company’s daily targets for maintenance work.
The agency notes that the procurement process for raw materials is currently being accelerated and, once finalised, asphalt production will resume towards the end of September – a time at which the JRA says it will have increased capacity.
The JRA, in August 2018, reopened its Ophirtin, Johannesburg-based asphalt production plant, which was first built in 1965, and now better meets air quality requirements. This plant’s capacity increased from 80 t/h to 200 t/h, and it has the ability to produce cold, warm and hot mixes of asphalt.
In the interim, the JRA has sourced contractors to assist with the backlog of pothole filling and road reinstatements which, as a result of the JRA operations having not been categorised as essential services under the Disaster Management Regulations, accumulated over the Alert Level 5 to 3 lockdown period.
However, the JRA says since it has been permitted to operate with some staff during Alert Level 3, it has completed 969 reinstatements citywide.
According to the agency, potholes and road surface reinstatements have been prioritised under the service delivery blitz to ensure that structural road defects are resolved to ensure road safety.
The JRA has resuscitated the reinstatement programme with its service delivery blitz in Region B on August 25.
The work started in Region B will be completed by September 4. Thereafter work in Region C will commence.