Despite the launch of the pothole app over a year ago, designed to address the issue of potholes in Gauteng, PotholeFixGP has only 11,025 downloads thus far. According to news24, this application, which was developed at a cost of R492,528 by the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport (GDRT) in collaboration with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, aimed to provide a direct channel for citizens to report potholes and facilitate swift repairs.
Users of the app can report potholes through a department dashboard, which then shares the pothole’s location with the relevant local road maintenance authority, expediting the repair process. According to GDRT spokesperson Lesiba Mpya, the department addresses 92% of reported potholes within a day when they are directly responsible.
However, the same efficiency level doesn’t extend uniformly to all authorities responsible for road maintenance. In northern and central Johannesburg, where the City of Johannesburg oversees most roads, only three out of over 1,000 potholes reported on the app have been marked as repaired. Bertha Scheepers, a spokesperson for the Johannesburg Roads Agency, cited a lack of direct integration between the app’s data and the City’s pothole repair system as a challenge.
To gauge the reliability of the pothole app in Johannesburg, News24 conducted a test by visiting five locations reported on the app as having potholes. Interestingly, four areas had already been fixed despite not being updated on the app. This information breakdown has raised concerns about the accuracy of the data regarding the status of the remaining 7,989 potholes still marked as unfixed.
Additionally, News24 found that within 100 metres of the reported potholes, there were often other unreported potholes, further questioning the comprehensiveness of the app’s data. Nevertheless, there are pockets of success, as some areas, like Heidelberg, have effectively utilised the app, repairing most reported potholes.
Picture: X / joycebosch9
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