those things that needs to be done. Much of this type of work was put off in the past - now we have to play catch up.

As Mayor Herman Mashaba said in a speech on the State of our Infrastructure last year:

"By 2021, we will have achieved a City where the roads are in a better state than we found them in. We will have achieved a situation where communities experience less power outages than they live with right now. We will have achieved a more stable supply of water, and reduced losses in our water-scarce environment.

This is what it means to be a responsive, accountable and caring government. The repair and maintenance levels we are engaged with as a City, are quick fixes, and have us using time, people, and funds fixing problems, only for them to return in the weeks or months to come.

It is my objective to turn our entire City into a construction site over the next four years. I want to ensure that on my way to work every day I see roads being resurfaced, cables being replaced, and water pipes being dug up.

But the nature of our social contract between government and residents requires me to appeal to our residents for understanding. Because, like any contract, there must be two parties willingly entering into an agreement together, knowing all the facts. My request to our residents is to please bear with us during this period. Because the job of saving our City from the imminent collapse of our infrastructure cannot happen overnight.

It is a process, not an event. But it is a process through which our residents need to accompany us. So when you experience temporary power outages, water stoppages or potholes, I would like you to know that we are working on resolving the inconveniences and problems. I would like our residents to see the construction around the City, and let it be seen as the progress towards a better, more reliable supply of services to our people."

Thus the road-widening of Jan Smuts Ave is the beginning of this construction phase where our infrastructure will be upgraded.

At a meeting last week with the consultants and JRA, I determined the following: -

♦ It will directly affect the following suburbs: Saxonwold, Parkwood, Rosebank, Parktown North, Dunkeld and Dunkeld West.

♦ There will be two lanes on both side and it will go from Erlswold Rd to just after Bolton Rd; and again from Jellicoe Ave to just before Bompas Rd.

♦ It will have a central median that will divide the two sides. This means that some roads - Westwold, Ashwold, Rutland, Sussex, Newport, 12th Ave, Smits - will be left turn in and out only.

♦ Intersections will have marked pedestrian crossings and wheelchair slopes. No new traffic lights or stop streets will be installed.

♦ There will be a 1.5m wide sidewalk and a 1m planted area between the sidewalk and road on both sides.

♦ Services will have to be removed or realigned. This will result in occasional outages due to accidents and reconnections/work. A Community Liaison Advisor will be appointed to handle these type of problems.

♦ The trees will be removed. A heritage study was done to determine this. The JRA will provide a tree for planting in the neighbourhood green areas for every tree removed. No trees will be replanted in the road reserve.

♦ The whole road reserve will be used, so properties will not be able to use it for parking anymore. If they have built over it, it will need to be demolished. These property owners will be notified.

♦ One side of the road will be done at a time allowing 2 lanes still to be used for traffic flow. But there will be congestion. And rat running.

♦ There will be a public meeting later in February. Details to be announced.

♦ The contract should go out to tender by late March/April and it is estimated that work will start late this year. It will take about 18 months if all goes to plan. From my experience, there may be delay, but working with you, the consultants and the JRA, I would love to see this be completed by mid-2020.