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Street by Street: Filling Potholes in Sandton’s Roads



JRA and their partners at Discovery Pothole Patrol dispatched a team of their finest workhorses to fill in and resurface potholes on The River Road between August 8 and 10

The Johannesburg Road Agency (JRA) has undertaken a resolute mission to eradicate potholes from the thoroughfares of Sandton, including roads, streets, and connecting lanes. This endeavour aims to enhance convenience for both residents and motorists, with the overarching objective of curtailing the escalating number of roadside claims and accidents precipitated by the prevalence of potholes.

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A tangible manifestation of this commitment materialises as the Discovery Pothole Patrol van materialises on The River Road on August 8 and August 10. Diligent civil servants were observed labouring assiduously to facilitate the chronic series of potholes that have plagued this artery for an undue duration.

Bertha Scheepers, the JRA spokesperson, attributed the palpable success of these endeavours to a concerted synergy among collaborating partners. She elaborated on this collaborative synergy, highlighting that the JRA, in symbiotic partnership with Discovery Insure and Avis Southern Africa, initiated the Pothole Patrol initiative in June 2023. Based on mutual benefit, this cooperative accord not only aids the JRA in effectuating efficient pothole repairs but concurrently addresses the distressing escalation of pothole-related accidents, which have borne substantial insurance claims for Discovery and Avis. Notably, this initiative’s inception traces back to May 2021, when the city forged an analogous collaboration with Discovery Insure and Dial Direct. The integrity of this partnership’s efficacy is underpinned by the palpable positive outcomes it has yielded.

Delving into specifics, Scheepers expounded that during the inaugural phase of the Pothole Patrol initiative, the JRA meticulously documented the rectification of an impressive 175,000 potholes across the expanse of the City of Johannesburg between the chronological bounds of May 2021 and December 2021. In tandem with Discovery Insure’s commitment, this concerted effort engendered a commendable 26% reduction in pothole-related claims within Johannesburg during that stipulated time frame.


Financial allocations mirror the JRA’s determination to effectuate tangible change. Scheepers elucidated that the JRA, on an annual basis, dedicates approximately R20,629,052.36 to ameliorating potholes. This expenditure is encompassed within the broader framework of the JRA’s operational budget for comprehensive road maintenance, which earmarks a substantial sum of R782,945,149 for the 2023/24 fiscal year.

Scheepers delved into the multifaceted origins of pothole formation on South Africa’s roadways, attributing it to a constellation of factors, including the ageing of infrastructure, the impact of heavy rains leading to water accumulation on road surfaces, and the stress imposed by heavy-duty vehicles. She noted that while routine maintenance protocols are in place, certain roads have surpassed the stage where patching potholes is adequate, necessitating comprehensive resurfacing or reconstruction. However, due to logistical constraints, resurfacing cannot be universally applied, prompting the JRA to prioritise main arterials and key transport nodes for urgent resurfacing. Further, gradation-based assessments determine the prioritisation of other roads. A dedicated budget of R87 million has been allocated to the 2023/24 financial period, earmarked for upgrading significant roadways such as the M1 and M2.

The positive ramifications of this concerted effort were extolled by Kenny Kunene, a Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Transport. He lauded the Discovery Pothole Patrol initiative as an exemplar of the transformative ethos embraced by the JRA and the City’s Transport Department. Kunene emphasised that this venture is emblematic of a paradigm shift in service delivery, harnessing partnerships and developmental models. These paradigms position citizens and businesses not as passive recipients but as active participants, collaboratively pursuing the overarching societal good.

Source: Potholes in Sandton filled one street at a time.

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Photo: Supplied by Sandton Chronicle

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