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The City of Johannesburg’s Gravel Roads Upgrade Programme has given the community of Diepsloot a new lease of life.
 
The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) has just completed the upgrading of a 5km stretch of road in ward 113, including surfacing, paving and kerbing along the pavement.
 
The agency has over the past financial year undertaken several roads construction projects in Diepsloot, with new roadbeds completed along Boswa, Tjhesa, Joy, Livhuwani, Phenduka, Swakahle, Katatura, Impala and Baleka streets.
 
“It is our mission to provide quality roads that are accessible, safe and liveable for our communities. The wellbeing of our communities is a priority and the main objective of these projects is to improve the safety of all road users and facilitate economic development through improved mobility,” says Johannesburg Member of the Mayoral Committee for Transport Cllr Christine Walters.
 
JRA Managing Director Skhumbuzo Macozoma says a total of R9.46 million was spent on the Diepsloot Roads Upgrade Project during the 2013-2014 financial year. A further R47.06 million has been set aside for roads upgrades in the current financial year.  Mpho Kau, JRA’s Head of Infrastructure Development, said the Diepsloot Roads Upgrade Project had been ongoing for the past seven years.
 
Streets the JRA has identified as in need of upgrades during the 2014-2015 financial year include Vuselela, Ace Ntsolengoe, Baxelele, Boswa, Chief Langalibalele, Chillie, Covenant, Koketso, Dzulanizwavhudi, Hadifele, Harmony, Inyoni, Izinyoka and Jabu Khanyile.
 
The Gravel Roads Upgrade Programme, of which the Diepsloot Roads Upgrade Project is part, has been implemented since 2001 starting with Soweto roads. Following the completion of tarring Soweto roads the programme was extended to five townships. These five prioritized townships were Diepsloot, Braamfischerville, Doornkop, Ivory Park and Orange Farm. The Doornkop project has already been completed.
 
In 2013-2014, three townships –Thulani, Tshepisong and Lawley – were added.  In the 2014-2015 financial, Protea South and Driezik were added, with more townships to be included during the medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) period.  
 
The total budget for the Gravel Roads Upgrade for the 2013-2014 financial year was R161 million and over the MTEF period, more than R1.3 billion to be spent on the programme.
 
Macozoma said the various JRA programmes were responsible for the creation of an estimated 280 jobs in 2013-2014 alone, transferring skills to improve possible future employment.
Cllr Walters added that road upgrades were instrumental in improving the standard of living of communities.
 
“The development of social infrastructure enables the transformation of communities through the establishment of basic and linkage infrastructure that connects them to economic activity,” she said.​