Note to editor: This is the statement made jointly by the MMC for Roads and Transport, Cllr Sheila Senkubuge, the MMC for Corporate Services and MMC for Region 4, Cllr Cilliers Brink, and the MMC for Economic Development and Spatial Planning under whom the Regional Operating Centre (ROC) falls, Cllr Randall Williams, at a press conference in Hatfield this morning.
I welcome you all to the Roads and Transport Department of the City of Tshwane.
The City of Tshwane has experienced a number of sinkholes in various parts of Tshwane in recent times that have inconvenienced businesses and people living and working around these areas.
On 3 April 2018, the leadership of the City of Tshwane and the Gauteng Provincial Government visited the site of a sinkhole along the R55 in Laudium, and other areas in Tshwane.
Three months on, we have undertaken to provide an update on the progress made thus far with regard to repairing the sinkholes in the city.
As you would know, the key strategic pillars of the Roads and Transport Department are, among others, to keep our residents safe and protect the environment.
Given the large number of sinkholes in Tshwane – 31 to be precise - we had to act with precision given the nature of damage to services, infrastructure and properties.
We are doing our utmost to minimise damage, disruptions and risk in the city and to its residents. City of Tshwane technical teams have been working tirelessly to resolve the challenges we face. Reports compiled by the teams explain in detail the status of every sinkhole in Tshwane and their current status of repair.
Two of the five priority sinkholes were repaired in the 2017/18 financial year, with the remaining three earmarked for completion in the first quarter of 2018. Three additional sinkholes will be repaired during the current financial year.
UPDATE ON JEAN AVENUE
We are delighted to announce that significant progress has been made with regard to repair work on Jean Avenue.
The sinkhole is at the intersection of Jean Avenue and Gerhard Street. Geological investigations and repairs have been completed. The site was handed over to the contractor on 11 January 2018. Phase 1 is expected to be completed at the end of August this year, with the road being opened partially.
UPDATE ON LAUDIUM ALONG 4TH AVENUE
The Laudium sinkhole is 25 m in diameter and 5 m deep and affected adjacent buildings. The site has been secured, and geological investigations and repairs have been done. The repair of the sinkhole commenced in April 2018 after the rainy season and is 90% complete. Completion is planned for the end of August 2018.
While a contractor has been appointed to finalise some of the highly specialised repairs, the City's internal construction teams will be utilised to conduct repairs at sinkhole sites that do not require specialised methods of repair. The City teams will also perform safeguarding and drilling investigations at sinkhole sites that require these.
The sinkholes in Van Riebeeck Avenue in Lyttelton Manor and Willow Drive in Irene have been repaired by the City's construction teams.
At least R27,5 million was allocated for the repair of five of the sinkholes for the 2017/18 financial year. R25 million will be made available in the 2018/19 financial year for the rehabilitation of other sinkholes.
Due to the high number of sinkholes, a process has been developed that ranks sinkholes in terms of repair priority. The following are some of the factors considered in the prioritisation:
- Safety of residents
- Exposure to risk
- Extent of damage
- Stability of the sinkhole
- Age of feature
- Scope of repair works
- Availability of funds
- Capacity to repair
In conclusion, it is important to note that sinkholes can occur naturally over time, but are aggravated in built-up areas due to leakage and ingress of storm water, water or waste water into the subsurface, and also through the lowering of the groundwater table through dewatering.
We urge residents to report to the City any sign of sinkholes developing in their areas to ensure that we respond timeously.
Sheila Lynn Senkubuge
MMC Roads and Transport
073 433 8562
Acting Spokesperson of the Executive Mayor of Tshwane
083 610 9066