The City of Johannesburg, in partnership with Discovery Insure and Dialdirect, have launched a new ‘Pothole Patrol’ app and WhatsApp bot to fast-track the ongoing war against potholes across the municipality.
The launch of the app and bot comes after the Pothole Patrol partnership witnessed over 50 000 pothole repairs since the collaboration was sealed by the late Mayor Geoff Makhubo with the private companies in May 2021.
The significant number of repairs were completed in five months, a joint effort by both the City and the Joburg Roads Agency, using its improved environmentally friendly Asphalt Plant in Selby while the private partners used their own specialised equipment and additional asphalt sourced from a private supplier.
“We have made a considerable dent in solving the challenge of potholes on our roads and we 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” said Discovery Insure CEO, Anton Ossip.
“With the launch of the app and the bot, we will no doubt make an even bigger difference” he said.
Anneli Retief, Head of Dialdirect Insurance says that the Pothole Patrol app is simple to use – “it 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”.
Mayor Moerane says the launch of the app and the Whatsapp bot is a milestone towards the transformation of the city 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 app and WhatsApp bot being launched today means any of the road users can easily and conveniently report potholes they come across in the City by inserting the specific location to ensure their speedy repairs and also monitor work progress.”
“The Pothole Patrol collaboration is exactly the kind of partnership that Johannesburg needs more of in other municipal areas of service delivery such as waste management, power supply, as well as infrastructure investment and development, among others. This way, we can easily build a better Johannesburg together” he concludes.
The Pothole Patrol app is available to download from the Apple App Store or Google Play. Alternatively, WhatsApp the word ‘Hi’ to 084 768 4653 (084 POT HOLE) and follow the prompts.