Motorists and residents suffer on always flooding Albertina Sisulu Road

Albertina Sisulu Road through Princess Informal Settlement.

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Roodepoort Record

JRA responds to the flooding situation on Albertina Sisulu Road, specifically at Princess Informal Settlement.

There has been widespread curiosity regarding the current state of Albertina Sisulu Road, which passes through Princess Informal Settlement and connects to various shopping centres and central business districts.

Motorists utilising this road might all have something similar about it, which is that there’s always a flood of water and potholes that create a hazardous environment, not only for drivers but also for residents of the surrounding area, posing a significant threat to their safety and well-being.

Some might say the water is caused by poor drainage systems causing havoc in the informal settlement and made worse by rain and potholes.

According to community member Doris Maswabi, who is also a member of the ward committee, this has been an ongoing situation for as long as she can remember, and it affects not only motorists but also the residents who reside in the lower-lying area of the settlement.

“Whenever it rains, I take pictures and videos of how the water is affecting motorists and the community. There are large potholes, and some drivers who aren’t familiar with this road get stuck in the potholes when it floods like that.

“This is caused by the blocked drains, which the Road Johannesburg Agency (JRA) fails to attend, so as cars and trucks drive by, they push that water to the sides that enter the informal settlement,” Doris said.

Doris added that they’ve tried getting the JRA to fix the situation, but they haven’t come to a permanent solution, and some of the water is added by the residents residing near the train station side.

JRA’s Acting Head of Regional Operations Khaya Gqibitole, said the informal settlement encroaches on and is built over the city’s road and stormwater infrastructure. When it rains, the water cannot flow into the existing stormwater system, resulting in ponding or flooding along Albertina Sisulu Road.

“The JRA depot also cannot access the stormwater drainage system for maintenance and cleaning due to this matter. However, in the event of flash floods, our regional teams attend to the site to drain the water off the road surface using a jet vac, as a safety measure for the community and to ensure the road is usable,” reads a statement sent to the Roodepoort Record.

According to JRA, the Department of Human Settlements and Housing, together with JRA and Joburg Water, have conducted multiple sites to assess the extent of the problem.

Deputy director for communications and stakeholders for the Department of Human Settlements, Neo Goba, said, “The biggest challenge is land invasions in the area wherein the city has brought in a legal team to approach the court for blanket eviction because even the land parcels earmarked for relocation of these households are getting invaded perpetually. The city’s upgrade to informal settlements programme is aimed at addressing Princess as a whole, but suitable land availability is key.”

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