On 9 November last year, Edenvale was devastated by floods. The damage was extensive, and to date, the metro has done nothing to assist with repairs or rehabilitation. The latest update via Cllr Heather Hart follows:
“Please do not shoot the messenger! We are DA Councillors in an ANC led Metro. We do the best we can to work with officials in order to get as much assistance and cooperation as we can!
At our Service Delivery meeting on Friday: Consultants (name not given but will follow up) were appointed to scope and estimate flood damage in Edenvale and the report is due within the next few weeks. This will then be considered by the Department of Roads and Stormwater and then presumably the various contracts put out to tender. That process at best takes 3-6 months and only then would the rehabilitation process begin.
However, as per a previous post, when we met with National and Provincial Departments of Disaster Management they indicated that it appeared necessary that the National Department should look at the entire issue holistically – ie from the source of the water south of the R24 in the main as well as the dynamics along the various river courses.
So either way, there is not going to be a quick fix – we are talking about major structural damage here. For example: It is not about just ‘repairing and opening’ the bridge on 1st. Just this 1st Avenue Bridge Project is a massive one which spans the entire area from Van Riebeeck to 1st Avenue bridge and probably a bit beyond.
Similarly with Central Road Bridge, Plantation Road Bridge and the length of the spruit channel from Eastleigh through to the N3, not to mention the path of the water flowing into it – from Harmelia, Buurendal and Hurlyvale.
BUT highlighted at the meeting is that our depot, once the best in the whole of the Metro now consists of ONLY 19 operational staff. We have two pothole teams – one for Edenvale/Bedfordview and one for Boksburg, and one stormwater/general worker team. This to do 57 suburbs and over 1000 ks of roads, pavements, stormwater systems. So please understand why our roads/pavements/stormwater drains look like they do.
By comparison before incorporation into the Metro, the Edenvale Roads Department built roads – it now no longer even has the capacity to repair them. Everything is contracted out.
On that score – we do now have contracts out for Plant and Machinery – but as per our depot manager – when you call for what you need they often cannot supply indicating that the contracts are being awarded to companies that do not actually have or own the plant but would need to hire it themselves.
We are still waiting for concrete plans for damage rehabilitation but there are going to be no quick fixes; we have requested and will still pursue a Revision of the Master Stormwater Plan and will hopefully get National Department assistance or support for this; we need to look at the whole issue of climate change and increasing water flows through Edenvale via this small spruit into the Jukskei holistically. We have also requested the revision to the Disaster Management Plan in order to better equip communities to deal with disasters like this, which includes revising and communicating a disaster management plan for Edenvale which is now shrouded in mystery and managed by a select few!