EDITORIAL | Joburg shouldn’t need help to fix potholes. That’s its job

Once again local government needs help from the private sector to perform its core functions

03 May 2021 - 20:07 By sunday times daily

Johannesburg mayor Geoff Makhubo last week launched the Pothole Patrol, a campaign to manage the repair of potholes 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,” he announced with great fanfare. What he should have done, however, was to find a hole and hide in it out of shame. For this initiative is happening thanks to the support of two private insurance companies, Dialdirect and Discovery, and not because of the city of Joburg’s outstanding commitment to keep our roads pothole-free.

This happened as it came to light that the Johannesburg Road Agency’s grand plan to launch an app for residents to report potholes went on the road to nowhere. After spending a staggering R15m on the now defunct “Find&Fix” mobile application, it has also forked out R10m in damages to more than 300 motorists and businesses that had lodged claims for damages to their vehicles brought on by badly maintained roads. ..

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