The City of Johannesburg, together with Discovery Insure and Dialdirect Insurance, have launched a new ‘Pothole Patrol’ app and WhatsApp-bot to fast-track the ongoing war on potholes across the city.
Launched on October 12, the smart mobility initiative is set to enable the speedy reporting of potholes for attention in Johannesburg as part of the ongoing partnership on the Pothole Patrol public-private partnership between the city and its partners.
Executive mayor Mpho Moerane says the Pothole Patrol partnership has repaired more than 50 000 potholes since the collaboration was sealed between the companies and the late mayor Geoff Makhubo in May.
The significant amount of repairs completed in just five months were a joint effort by both the city’s entity, the Joburg Roads Agency, using its improved environment-friendly asphalt plant in Selby, while the private partners used their own specialised equipment and additional asphalt sourced from a private supplier.
“We’ve made a considerable dent in solving the challenge of potholes on our roads and are pleased to take the partnership forward as we embark on the next phase, using the app and deepening our use of telematics to identify the areas most sorely requiring intervention by the Pothole Patrol,” says Discovery Insure CEO Anton Ossip.
“With the launch of the app and bot, we will no doubt make an even bigger difference,” he enthuses.
Dialdirect Insurance head Anneli Retief, meanwhile, says the Pothole Patrol app is simple to use and “geolocates potholes and provides real-time progress on the potholes’ repair statuses”.
With the bot, users will also be able to report a pothole and view the status of the repair.
Moerane says the launch is “a sure milestone step towards the transformation of Johannesburg into a smart city as captured in the Joburg Growth and Development Strategy 2040”.
“The Pothole Patrol initiative is not only about speeding up the repairs of our City’s road infrastructure, but also to make our roads safer for all users who include motorists, motorcyclists, cyclists, as well as pedestrians. In addition, the use of the app and bot will subsequently reduce traffic congestion in pothole affected areas and aid seamless traffic flow,” he says.
The city, together with Dialdirect and Discovery Insure are urging motorists to download the Pothole Patrol app from either the Apple App Store or Google Play.
Alternatively, one can WhatsApp the word 'Hi' to 084 768 4653 (084 POT HOLE) and follow the prompts.