Transport minister, Fikile Mbalula, has encouraged the public to report potholes on municipal and provincial roads on a newly launched app in order to enable the government to repair them speedily.
Addressing the launch of Operation Vala Zonke – a comprehensive programme to address potholes across all spheres of government, the minister said the app can be downloaded on Google Playstore and the Apple App store.
The app will work in conjunction with the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) pothole management app and will allow the public to raise any issues, upload pictures of potholes, and provide real-time location of the road on an interactive map that will show the owners of the different roads.
The app will also provide status updates on issues raised using a pothole ticketing system, said the minister.
“The information then gets assigned to the relevant authority, depending on where the road is, and the maintenance depot responsible for that road attends to fixing the pothole,” Mbalula said in Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng.
As the implementing agency for this campaign, Sanral said it will closely monitor and assess the impact of the interventions over the next six months.
A monitoring and evaluation capability has been put in place. This will enable Sanral to generate audit reports that will form the basis for validation of the work undertaken and the turnaround time in attending to potholes.
“Through this intervention, we are raising the bar on service delivery by ensuring that the voice of the citizen is heard. This campaign will change the face of our municipal and provincial roads from pothole-riddled to an acceptable state of repair. This launch will be replicated across the country with Premiers and MECs leading provincial launches,” the minister said.
Sanral will co-ordinate the effort of working with the provinces and municipalities to ensure potholes are attended to speedily.
“Sanral has a policy of fixing any reported potholes within 48 hours. While national roads are overwhelmingly in a pristine condition, we recognise that provincial and municipal roads require a decisive strategy and active support to augment capacity gaps.
“Potholes have remained a problem and have posed a danger to road users throughout the country. Potholes are particularly dangerous at night or in rainy weather,” Mbalula said.
The government said it has committed to reaching out to private companies, communities and other stakeholders to play their part in supporting government efforts of preserving and improving the road infrastructure.
“Through partnerships with institutions of learning and the sector education and training authorities, we will infuse a strong skills development methodology to the intervention. A skills revolution must become a pillar of this intervention at all levels of government,” the minister said.