One year on: more than 100 000 potholes repaired and counting
The Pothole Patrol, a partnership between the City of Johannesburg (CoJ), Discovery Insure and Dialdirect Insurance
  • Over 100 000 potholes repaired by The Pothole Patrol in one year.
  • Over 4 400 potholes reported in Sandton alone.
  • Roodepoort given the unfortunate crown of area with the most potholes.
  • William Nicol labelled as the most treacherous road in Joburg.

The Pothole Patrol, a partnership between the City of Johannesburg (CoJ), Discovery Insure and Dialdirect Insurance, has repaired more than 100 000 potholes since its launch in May 2021, Executive Mayor, Cllr Mpho Phalatse, announced in a statement this morning.

“The City of Johannesburg is proud to partner with Discovery Insure and Dialdirect Insurance to ensure that our roads are of a good quality and safe. As we build a City of Golden Opportunities, we must get the basics right, and this includes repairing and maintaining aged infrastrucuutre. We will only build Joburg with the help of businesses, residents and other spheres of government,” says Executive Mayor, Cllr Mpho Phalatse.

The Pothole Patrol launched an app to simplify the reporting process for residents of Joburg in October last year, which accelerated the programme’s output.  

“While the unprecedented wet weather unfortunately exacerbated the already dire pothole situation in Johannesburg, and an unexpected bitumen shortage has caused a few delays, we’ve successfully managed to exceed our mandated repair target by 25%, month-on-month.  We have also increased our repair fleet and employed additional resources to help manage the increased number of reports,” says Anneli Retief, Head of Dialdirect. 

Anton Ossip, CEO of Discovery Insure says that the introduction of The Pothole Patrol in Johannesburg has paid dividends in the form of reduced pothole-related insurance claims in Johannesburg. “In March we announced that the benefits of this initiative are evident in Discovery Insure data which shows a 26% reduction in pothole-related claims in Johannesburg, compared to an increase of 45% across the rest of Gauteng,” notes Ossip.

Commenting on the area in Johannesburg with the most potholes, Roodepoort, the CEO of the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA), Siya Nodu, indicated it is one of the oldest suburbs in Johannesburg, and as a result most of the roads have passed their design lifespan.

Additionally, the Pothole Patrol received a very high number of reports from the following arterial roads:

  • William Nicol Drive, where 155 potholes were reported
  • Jan Smuts Road: 110 potholes have been reported
  • Ontdekkers Road: 104 potholes reported
  • Beyers Naude: 90 potholes have been reported

“Potholes have many causes, including poor road maintenance, water logging and blocked stormwater drains, and inadequate capacity to expeditiously respond to the new potholes that keep popping up, not least with the very high and unseasonal levels of rainfall experienced in Gauteng,” notes Executive Mayor Phalatse.

Adds Ossip: “The Pothole Patrol continues to receive an influx of reports via our app. Unfortunately, we have noted repeated damage reports for certain areas and this is often caused by underlying water damage.  While intermittent, superficial repairs are undertaken, we are sure motorists navigating these intersections will agree that a more permanent solution is needed.”

“Some road defects unfortunately fall beyond The Pothole Patrol’s scope. The Pothole Patrol is mandated by the CoJ to repair potholes measuring a maximum size of 1m by 1m.  Anything bigger than this, or deeper than 3cm, is referred to as a reinstatement,” notes Retief.

Explains Nodu: “Reinstatements, road excavations, deep trenches or cracks are caused by entities and other service providers, either repairing or installing their services, and are not classified as potholes. The Pothole Patrol escalates reinstatements to the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) as per our mandate. We have recently entered into a framework agreement with Joburg Water to repair all reinstatements done as a result of the water pipe leaks.”

Joburg road users are encouraged to log calls with the City of Johannesburg call centre at 0860 562 874, choose option 5 for the JRA, or they can download the Pothole Patrol apps on the Apple App and Google Play stores, and to continue to support this initiative by reporting potholes.