New pothole reporting service launched

Johannesburg - About 42 900 potholes were repaired by the department of roads and transport since October 1 2010, said Ismail Vadi, MEC for road and transport in Gauteng, on Monday.

He was speaking at the launch of a new repair service and SMS notification line for potholes in Johannesburg, saying contracted companies were not giving the government value for money.

"We have 77 contracted companies who work for the provincial team.

"We have to get to the point where we don't pay companies if they have to return to repair the same problem," said Vadi.

"The agreement with the Dial Direct Pothole Brigade is a small step in the direction of rebuilding the country."

The Pothole Brigade initiative has repaired 3 500 potholes since August with Jetpatcher equipment, said Bradley du Chenne, senior manager with Dial Direct.

Browen de Paggio from Trafficcare said it cost about R500 to repair a pothole.

The Jetpatcher equipment cost about R1.5m.

"It can take between two and ten minutes to repair one pothole," she said.

Motorists can report potholes in several ways. There are two websites, www.leadsa.co.za or www.potholebrigade.co.za. You can call *120*1551# on a cellphone and follow the instructions on the screen (normal MMS tariffs apply) or type potholebrigade.mobi on your cellphone.

Potholes can also be reported at roads@aasa.co.za.

How to repair a pothole in less than seven minutes with the Jetpatcher machine:
1. Remove dust, rubbish, water and debris from the pothole with the high pressure air compressor.
2. New emulsion (bitumen) is sprayed into the pothole to seal the hole.
3. A tar mixture is sprayed into it at 100km/h at a temperature of 35 to 40 °C. As a result it is very compact.
4. Dry stones are places on top to prevent car wheels from sticking to the tar.
 
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