Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has encouraged the public to report potholes on municipal and provincial roads using a newly launched app.

Addressing the launch of Operation Vala Zonke, a programme to address potholes nationwide, the minister said the app can be downloaded on Google Play and the Apple App Store. (Links to the apps were not immediately available.)

“The app will work in conjunction with Sanral’s pothole management app and will allow the public to raise any issues, upload pictures of potholes, and provide real-time location of the road on an interactive map that will show the owners of the different roads. The app will also provide status updates on issues raised using a pothole ticketing system.

“The information then gets assigned to the relevant authority, depending on where the road is, and the maintenance depot responsible for that road attends to fixing the pothole,” Mbalula said on Monday in Vanderbijlpark.

As the implementing agency for this campaign, Sanral will closely monitor and assess the impact of the interventions over the next six months. Sanral will generate audit reports, which will form the basis for validation of the work undertaken and the turnaround time in attending to potholes.

“This campaign will change the face of our municipal and provincial roads from pothole-riddled to an acceptable state of repair. This launch will be replicated across the country with premiers and MECs leading provincial launches,” Mbalula said.

Sanral will co-ordinate the effort of working with the provinces and municipalities to ensure potholes are attended to speedily. “Sanral has a policy of fixing any reported potholes within 48 hours. While national roads are overwhelmingly in a pristine condition, we recognise that provincial and municipal roads require a decisive strategy and active support to augment capacity gaps,” the minister said.

“Fixing the potholes on the country’s roads is an enormous task, which will take time, but we are confident that through the coordinated approach led by Sanral, we will be able to tackle this task and make a telling difference that our people can see and experience,” he said.