A NUMBER of manhole covers have disappeared in Parkmore, with large steel drums being placed over the gaping holes.
Executive manager of the Parkmore Community Association, Bryan Robertson said, “Criminals have been taking these manhole cover because they’re steel and can be sold for profit. And once they’re gone they are gone. So residents in the area should be alert and report if anyone is attempting to steal these covers.”
The problem of missing or damaged manhole covers has grown in the Sandton area. Ward 103 councillor Vincent Earp said, “I think it’s extremely dangerous, [even] if there’s a steel drum covering the hole. If there is a hole in the ground someone could get badly injured, or if someone drives over the steel drum it could cause major damage.”
Earp said that the Johannesburg Road Agency and Joburg Water need to find an alternative material to manufacture manhole covers to halt theft.
JRA spokesperson Bertha Peters-Scheepers said that whether it was a JRA or Joburg Water cover, they try to make the area safe for pedestrians and commuters. She said, “… Vandalism is a serious issue in Johannesburg, and not only to manhole covers, but also guard rails, among others.”
She said that the JRA has been in the process of examining alternative materials to manufacture manhole covers, saying that at this point plastic or fibreglass are being considered. She added, “We are busy working on the specifications of materials that can be used as alternatives for manhole [covers] and this will be implemented within the next month or so.”