Forces show up for Joburg's road crisis: firms to help the City in Pothole Patrol venture

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A pothole in a street.
A pothole in a street.
Photo by Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle

Potholes are a massive problem for motorists all over South Africa, but it has become a crisis in Gauteng. 

The City of Joburg, Dialdirect Insurance and Discovery Insure recently announced the launch of the Pothole Patrol, a partnership to manage the repair of potholes throughout Johannesburg, in a unique data-driven initiative designed to make roads safer for all residents.

Backlog of potholes

Joburg Mayor Geoff Makhubo, launching the Pothole Patrol in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg, said: "We do not doubt that this joint initiative with private sector support is the boost we need to fix road infrastructure in the City. We are confident that the launch of this initiative is a game-changer in resolving the scourge of potholes on our roads."

Head of Dialdirect Insurance, Anneli Retief, said: "After ten years, we're back and once again, are ready to help solve the backlog of potholes and help motorists drive right."

Discovery Insure CEO Anton Ossip said: "We're proud to support the Joburg Roads Agency with this important initiative that we have no doubt will make our roads safer for everyone."

This initiative will reduce the frequency and severity of road accidents across the City for drivers. The insurers seek to align with international road safety standards. This initiative supports the United Nations Road-Safety strategy titled 'A Partnership for Safer Journeys' established in 2019. 

How it will work 

"The Pothole Patrols will begin on Monday, 3 May 2021, and will prioritise roads that are more frequently used, impacting more users and thereby causing more damage. Simultaneously a smartphone app is being developed to allow residents of the City to log pothole locations which will be prioritised for repair," added Retief. 

"It is important to note that due to the vast expanse of the City's road infrastructure and the backlog created over time through various reasons including an increase in road traffic and worsening weather conditions, it may take time for a logged pothole to be repaired," added Makhubo. 

In addition, the insurance companies involved will avail their significant data about road conditions to the programme, which is collected through telematics data measuring how vehicles are driven and can infer the condition of the road as a result. 

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