A hole in the road leads to a hole in the pocket

2010-01-31 10:24

ONE business sector is cashing in on the damage being caused by the

rains.

“The rainy season always bring good business for us,” says Divan

Gerber, the manager of Kwik-Fit in Midrand. “Not for other people, but for

us.”

Tiger Wheel & Tyre in Polokwane, Limpopo, has experienced “a

massive spike” in customers because of bad road conditions causing damage to

cars. “We get at least three people a day with bent rims and torn tyres,” says

one of the store managers.

In Mbombela (formerly Nelspruit), Boeta Bekker of NST Tyre &

Exhaust says that while it is hard to put a number on tyre repairs and wheel

realignments, customers have been complaining about the damage caused by

potholes.

Sabeel Wazar of Kruz-In Tyres Conti Partner in Standerton says the

problem of potholes has become particularly troublesome in Mpumalanga.

“The potholes are now manholes; so big you could hide a horse or a

cow in there.

“We are overflowing. It’s good because they are keeping us in

business, but you really do begin to feel for the customer.”

Wazar says that over the past three months the number of customers

needing tyre repairs and replacements has increased drastically.

According to Eugene Beck, chief executive of RoadCover, a service

that processes claims against the Road Accident Fund, drivers can claim from the

municipality for damages done to their cars by potholes.

The process is similar to that of insurance companies – justifying

and proving damage with quotes, photos and police reports and then submitting a

claim to the city manager. If the claim is deemed justified the driver will then

be called to begin negotiations.

Insurance companies differ on footing the bill with regards to

claims for damaged tyres. AA Insurance says it does not ­cover tyre damage

caused by potholes, while ­OUTsurance says it does.


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