R154 billion needed to deal with the road infrastructure backlog in Joburg
The City of Johannesburg has revealed it will need R154 billion to deal with the current road infrastructure backlog with the city's traffic lights needing close to R37 million to fix.
The city's spokesperson, Nthatisi Modingoane, said the backlog emanated from democratic transitional changes that took place in 1994.
"Seven former municipalities from the apartheid era were combined to become the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality (CoJMM) and the new municipality planned to use municipal charges to pay for infrastructure improvements.
The need to fulfil socioeconomic, health, and housing demands, however, outweighed the income, which resulted in inadequate investment in the management and upkeep of the infrastructure," Modingoane said.
The R154 billion would be divided to attend to Class 3-4 roads which needed R10.4 billion and Class 5-6 roads with an estimated to R27 billion cost.
The cost for bridges is estimated at R16 billion while sidewalk infrastructure is R2 billion catchments, dams and stormwater infrastructure have a backlog of R61.2 billion.
"The backlog has been catered for in the city’s budget, as captured in the individual sector IDP programmes and related projects per sector but must be noted that some of the repairs and maintenance of infrastructure is captured in the city’s operations budget, depending on whether the renewal, repair or replacement of an asset is required.
The city borrows from commercial banks, development finance institutions, or the domestic capital market, but is limited to 45% of revenue as per MFMA (Municipal Finance Management) Circular 71, currently at 33%, the city is exploring alternative funding mechanisms to ensure unfunded mandates are funded," Modingoane added.
Meanwhile, City Power has a backlog of R33.5 billion mainly for substations while Joburg Water has a total backlog of R24 billion which was broken down to water mains replacement needing close to R3 billion and sewer mains replacement close to R3.4 billion in backlog.
The city is also enhancing long-term infrastructure planning and investment by developing and institutionalising plans.