Heavy loads

Shane Alberts, Three Anchor Bay

The City of Cape Town is clearly on a densification drive, with the construction of many new apartment blocks being approved in and around Cape Town.

I refer in particular to our neighbourhood, which encompasses Green Point, Three Anchor Bay, Mouille Point, Fresnaye and Sea Point. All fair and well, if densification must happen so be it. My problem is with the huge increase in the number of cranes and heavy vehicles trundling into and out of the area, carting away building rubble from the excavations, and delivering building materials. Our roads, pavements and kerbs are being hammered by these trucks. Who is responsible for the maintenance of this? And more importantly, who bears the cost of this maintenance?

* Brett Herron, Mayoral committee member for transport, responds:

When a vehicle is suspected to be overloaded, it becomes a Law Enforcement issue and the Traffic Department is informed to take action.

Prior experience, however, has shown that this does not happen often within the Cape Town central business district (CBD) thanks to the presence of traffic officials, staff from the Cape Town Central Improvement District (CCID), and the watchful eye of members of the general public such as Mr Alberts.

I want to assure Mr Alberts that all developers or redevelopers of properties in the CBD are required to pay a significant upfront deposit, or to provide a guarantee to Transport for Cape Town (TCT), the City’s transport authority, to cover any damage to the sidewalks, kerbs and other road infrastructure.

It is true that sidewalks around developments are damaged during building operations, the offloading of building material, and by crane bases; sometimes road surfaces are stained with cement or damaged by crawler tracks during construction projects.

To date, TCT’s local roads depot in the CBD did not need to do any maintenance work relating to the operations of a building contractor as the developers in general reconstruct the sidewalks in totality once a development has been completed.

This is usually done with new paving and cobbles as part of the landscaping plan for the new building to complement the large investment.

Any damage to the road surface itself is also rectified by the developer and before the deposit is paid back, or the guarantee provided released.