By Neelam Rahim
Transport minister, Fikile Mbalula, has encouraged the public to report potholes on municipal and provincial roads on a newly launched app to enable the government to repair them speedily.
Addressing the launch of Operation Vala Zonke – a comprehensive programme to deal with potholes across all spheres of government, the minister said the app might be downloaded on Google Playstore and the Apple App store.
The app will connect with the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) pothole management app. It will allow the public to lift any issues, upload pictures of potholes, and supply the real-time location of the road on an interactive map showing the various road owners.
The app also will 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 accountable for that road attends to fixing the pothole,” Mbalula said on Monday in Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng.
As the implementing agency for this campaign, Sanral said it’ll closely monitor and assess the impact of the interventions over the following six months.
A monitoring and evaluation capability has been put in place. This can enable Sanral to generate audit reports which will form the premise for validation of the work undertaken and, therefore, the turnaround time in attending to potholes.
“This campaign will change the face of our municipal and provincial roads from pothole-riddled to a suitable state of repair. This launch is replicated across the country with premiers and MECs leading provincial launches,” Mbalula said.
Sanral will coordinate the effort of working with the provinces and municipalities to make sure potholes are attended to speedily. “Sanral encompasses a policy of fixing any reported potholes within 48 hours. While national roads are overwhelmingly pristine, we recognise that provincial and municipal roads require a decisive strategy and active support to reinforce capacity gaps,” the minister said.
“Fixing the potholes on the country’s roads is an infinite task, which can take time, but we are confident that through the coordinated approach led by Sanral, we’ll be ready to tackle this task and make a telling difference that our people can see and experience,” he said.