JRA shines spotlight on vandalism of road assets
The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA), the City of Johannesburg’s entity responsible for providing and maintaining roads and storm water infrastructure, is using Transport Month to shine the spotlight on the dangers of vandalism and theft of road infrastructure.
Transport Month, which has been observed since October 2005, seeks to highlight the significance of transport in the economy. This year’s Transport Month theme is “Safe Streets and Transport for All”.
JRA officials have since Thursday October 13 been visiting shopping malls across the city to urge residents to be vigilant against criminal acts, which not only cost the City millions of rands every year, but also put the lives of road users and other members of the community in danger. Through leaflets and one-on-one engagements, officials urged motorists, taxi drivers and other road users to take collective ownership of transport-related infrastructure. The week-long roadshow, which ends on Thursday October 20, is also aimed at building active citizenry and encouraging a better-informed community of road users.
Conel Cassius Mackay, Manager of JRA’s Infrastructure Protection Unit, said every motorist was affected by such acts of criminality.
“Normally when you approach a traffic intersection you expect to be regulated by a traffic sign. Instead, all you see are illegal adverts for body parts enlargements and illegal abortions plastered over the road sign.
“This is dangerous because a motorist who might not be familiar with the area could end up in a serious or even fatal accident,” said Mackay.
The shopping malls that have been visited since the campaign started include Cresta in Region B, Westgate and Clearwater in Region C, Pan Africa in Alexandra in Region E, Newton Mall in Region F, Orange Farm Mall and Trade Route in Region G, and Maponya Mall in Region D, as well as the Kliptown Taxi Rank in Region G.
The JRA has been joined in the campaign by the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) and the Johannesburg Emergency Management Services (EMS).
During the roadshow residents were urged to report acts of vandalism and theft of road assets to JRA’s newly established Infrastructure Protection Unit. JRA is also using the campaign to encourage motorists to use public transport to decongest the city's streets and roads.
EMS’s Mohamad Sharliff Mahdi said: “We’re joining forces with JRA because we’re affected by incidences such as cable theft and damage to road equipment. We provide a very important service to the community.
“Now, if there’s a traffic snarl-up because of a traffic light that has been vandalised, we cannot reach the scene of an emergency on time. Our response time is affected and the public becomes unhappy with our service,” Mahdi said.
Road users are urged to contact JRA at (011) 375-5911, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter:@MyJra, Facebook: Johannesburg Roads Agency.