Private companies are joining the pothole initiative in Johannesburg as Discovery Insure and Avis Southern Africa partner with the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) to address the city’s pothole problem. BusinessTech reports that this cross-sector collaboration supports the Discovery Pothole Patrol, which aims to identify and repair potholes on major roads, ensuring safer driving conditions for all local road users.
The city has recognised the initiative as an example of the transformative approach taken by the JRA and the city’s Transport Department towards service delivery. They strive to create positive change for the greater good through partnerships and citizen engagement.
Pothole damage significantly impacts South Africa, costing an estimated R500 million per month. Discovery Insure has been at the forefront of addressing this issue, preventing pothole-related incidents and saving their clients’ potential expenses.
Zweli Nyathi, the Acting CEO of the JRA, reaffirmed the agency’s commitment to providing quality roads and safer mobility for Johannesburg communities. He emphasised that the extended partnership with the Discovery Pothole Patrol will contribute to their efforts in maintaining and improving the extensive road network across the city.
Also read: Road Damage Caused by Potholes in Saulsville
The pothole patrol initiative began in May 2021 to tackle the severe pothole issue in Johannesburg. Since its inception, the Pothole Patrol has successfully repaired nearly 175,000 potholes and road defects, resulting in a 26% drop in pothole-related claims compared to an increase in other areas.
Anton Ossip, CEO of Discovery Insure, highlighted the significant safety hazard posed by potholes and expressed confidence that the new partnership will make the roads safer. Ramasela Ganda, Group CEO of ZEDA and Avis Southern Africa, emphasised the shared responsibility of motorists and businesses in ensuring safe and reliable road conditions. The partnership aims to make a tangible difference in the lives of customers and society.
Discovery Insure and Avis have established the Discovery Pothole Patrol Academy. This skills development program aims to empower local youth with the necessary skills to contribute to road maintenance and create opportunities for improved income generation.
The Pothole Patrol uses advanced technology, including telematics and artificial intelligence (AI) software, to detect and efficiently and categorise road defects. This data-driven approach enables informed decision-making and swift action in repairing potholes, benefiting both the graduates of the Academy and the partnering municipalities.
The company developed the Discovery Pothole Patrol App to encourage community involvement, allowing motorists to report potholes directly. Users can actively contribute to the ongoing effort to identify and repair potholes in Johannesburg by downloading the app from the IOS app store or Google Play.
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