Discovery Insure and Avis Southern Africa have joined forces with the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) to create a cross-sector partnership that will tackle the pothole problem in the City head-on.
The groundbreaking collaborative partnership is in support of the Discovery Pothole Patrol in Johannesburg, which aims to identify and repair potholes on major roads in the City, ensuring safer driving conditions for all local road users.
Cllr Kenny Kunene, Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Transport, commended the Discovery Pothole Patrol initiative as an example of the transformative approach the JRA and the City’s Transport Department are taking towards service delivery. “Through partnerships and citizen engagement, we aim to create positive change for the greater good,” Cllr Kunene said.
The impact of pothole damage in South Africa is substantial, with an estimated monthly cost of around R500 million. 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, affirmed the agency’s commitment to providing quality roads and safer mobility for communities in Johannesburg. “The extended partnership with the Discovery Pothole Patrol will contribute to the JRA’s efforts in maintaining and improving the extensive road network across the City,” Nyathi said.
The pothole patrol initiative was initially launched in May 2021 to address the serious pothole issue in Johannesburg. Since its launch, the Pothole Patrol has repaired nearly 175,000 potholes and road defects in Johannesburg, resulting in a 26% drop in pothole-related claims compared to an increase in other areas.
Anton Ossip, CEO of Discovery Insure, expressed excitement about Avis joining the Discovery Pothole Patrol, emphasising that potholes pose a significant safety hazard. “This partnership aims to make Joburg’s roads safer through a collaborative effort and shared responsibility,” said Ossip.
Ramasela Ganda, Group CEO of ZEDA Limited and Avis Southern Africa, highlighted the importance of every motorist and business playing a role in ensuring safe and reliable road conditions. “By working together with Discovery Insure and the JRA, the partnership aims to make a tangible difference in the lives of customers and society as a whole,” Ganda said.
To enhance the effectiveness of the Discovery Pothole Patrol, Discovery Insure and Avis have established the Discovery Pothole Patrol Academy, a skills development programme which 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 categorise road defects accurately and efficiently. This data-driven approach ensures informed decision-making and swift action in repairing potholes, benefiting both the graduates of the Academy, and partnering municipalities.
To facilitate community involvement, the Discovery Pothole Patrol App has been developed, allowing motorists to report potholes directly. By downloading the app from the IOS app store or Google Play, users can contribute to the ongoing effort to identify and repair potholes in Johannesburg.