Thanks to The Pothole Patrol, business and leisure travellers from Gauteng will no longer have to navigate potholes when they travel to Sun City for holidays or to attend business events.
The innovative initiative is a partnership between the City of Johannesburg, Discovery Insure and Dialdirect Insurance. In its first year alone, it repaired over 100 000 potholes in Johannesburg.
Now for the first time, the initiative has moved outside of Johannesburg to repair the numerous potholes along the 75km stretch of the R556 leading to Sun City. Although the R556 is the shortest route to the resort, motorists have long expressed concern about the number of potholes they had to dodge to get there.
While reviewing the work done to date, the North West MEC for Public Works and Transport said, “Good roads attract business to an area. Gauteng is a very important market source for our province, but travellers want to know that they can reach their destination safely. Similarly, conference and event organisers are disinclined to plan workshops and conferences at venues with poor road infrastructure. The province is therefore extremely thankful for the work carried out.
“We appreciate the collaboration between the private sector and government. The government cannot do it alone.” concluded the MEC.
The first big beneficiary of the newly repaired road will be the Insurance Institute of South Africa (IISA), which is set to host their upcoming conference at Sun City.
Brett Hoppé, Sun City’s General Manager said, “Sun City is enormously popular but as much as people want to visit our resort, if there’s a chance their tyres or vehicles can be damaged by travelling here, then they will simply go elsewhere. So, we as Sun City are deeply grateful for the work that has been done, and we know it will ultimately translate into jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for the entire region.”
Claims data collected by Discovery Insurance reveals a 26% reduction in pothole-related claims in Johannesburg in the first year of The Pothole Patrol. This is significant when compared with the 45% increase in claims across the rest of Gauteng for the same period.
“Badly maintained tyres and rims are a leading cause of car accidents in South Africa. Our initiative is helping to reduce the frequency and severity of road accidents across the city for insured and uninsured drivers alike,” says Anneli Retief, Head of Dialdirect Insurance.
“The Pothole Patrol demonstrates our continued support for the United Nations Road-Safety strategy titled ‘A Partnership for Safer Journeys’. This now means that our initiative to repair potholes on the stretch of road between Sun City and Johannesburg will result in safer roads for all road users,” said Head of Strategy at Discovery Insure, Kgodiso Mokonyane.
Car aficionados will also be pleased to note that all the pothole repairs will be complete by 19 August, in time for Sun City to host the Daytona Rally Affluent Park and Party (APP) with its spectacular array of ultra-desirable supercars.