Simple bolts which hold road guardrails together, which are supposed to protect motorists and pedestrians from injury, have been unavailable to the Johannesburg Roads Agency for three years. Picture: Armand Hough / African News Agency (ANA)
Simple bolts which hold road guardrails together, which are supposed to protect motorists and pedestrians from injury, have been unavailable to the Johannesburg Roads Agency for three years. Picture: Armand Hough / African News Agency (ANA)

JRA does not have bolts that hold road guardrails together to protect motorists, pedestrians

By Anna Cox Time of article published May 21, 2021

Share this article:

Johannesburg - Simple bolts which hold road guardrails together, which are supposed to protect motorists and pedestrians from injury, have been unavailable to the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) for three years.

These broken and missing Armco yellow, red and black striped barriers have become a familiar sight throughout the city as the JRA battles with backlogs in filling potholes and restoring bridges, which are falling apart as well.

Kensington ward councillor Neuren Pietersen said the lack of the guardrails had already resulted in the death of an elderly person on a curve in Protea Street and Albertina Sisulu Drive in Bruma, where she lost control and crashed into open veld.

“Had the barrier been in place and properly marked with the reflective signs, the accident probably would not have happened, or would not have resulted in death.

“That’s the purpose of these rails, which are placed on dangerous bends, bridges and around schools to protect pedestrians and pupils who are walking along busy roads,” he said.

Pietersen said he had been communicating and lodging complaints with the JRA for almost three years, being told by officials that they had no bolts in stock to hold the barriers together.

Joburg resident Kevin Munro, who travels frequently through the city, said the barriers were broken, buckled and loose in almost every suburb.

He personally witnessed a motor cyclist drive into one which was loose and was jutting into Goodman Terrace, Fairwood.

“Cars have to go into oncoming traffic lanes to avoid this, but this cyclist didn’t see it and crashed right into it. I got out and tried to push it off the road, but it’s too heavy, and despite reporting it several times, it remains jutting into the road as a hazard,” he said.

Many of these barriers are also just loose, lying in gutters, or are completely destroyed.

These are disasters waiting to happen, as most have reflective signs warning motorists, and these are gone, he added.

Of particular concern were those around schools.

Near Athlone Girls’ High School, the guardrails are also in disrepair, putting the schoolchildren at risk.

So, too, the ones on the busy Albertina Sisulu Drive, outside Queens High School, which are hanging loose.

“Pedestrians are no longer protected,” he said.

The JRA admitted that there were “operational capacity constraints and a huge backlog in repairing the barriers”.

JRA spokesperson Mosa Makhalima said the guardrail materials and components – which are manufactured locally – had been purchased, and the agency was in the process of getting a service provider to install and replace the damaged guardrails.

The Star

Share this article: