Government ramps up its war on potholes

 ·1 Aug 2023

Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga has launched the Vala Zonke War Room, which forms part of the government’s battle against potholes.

“The introduction of this Vala Zonke War Room is the natural progression to ensure success in the war against potholes following the launch of the Vala Zonke campaign nearly a year ago,” Chikunga said.  

“We have reflected on the progress made through the Vala Zonke campaign, observed learnings from the processes and addressed some of the practical challenges. Through this War Room, we are re-affirming government’s commitment to this campaign aimed at eradicating potholes across South Africa’s Road network.”

She added that several private companies, mainly in the freight industry, have committed to partnering with the government to improve South Africa’s roads.

Sanral CEO Reginald Demana said the company would work with roads agencies on a provincial and municipal level in the war against potholes.

“The Vala Zonke War Room is equipped to capture and report on all information that will be uploaded via the Pothole APP by road users,” said Demana.

“The data captured will be important for Sanral to respond appropriately. For example, if we get recurring potholes in a specific area, that could be a sign that there is a need for a longer lasting solution, perhaps a redesign of the road to ensure that it is suitable to current traffic needs.”

The idea of the war room is to get everyone responsible for road maintenance, refurbishment and the Vala Zonke Campaign into one room, allowing for easier coordination on how to tackle these issues.

Sanral – a coordinating agency of the campaign – said that some of the benefits of the war room include:

  • Communication – The war room will enable effective communication between members of the team and the public.
  • Information management – Visual information will be conveyed more effectively with the visualisation of the data and facts. On-site specialists will be able to analyse the data and respond appropriately.
  • Focus – The team works exclusively on the Vala Zonke Campaign.
  • Centralised – The War Room is the central hub where all pothole-related issues are addressed and resolved. This will be done in real-time, as information flows into the centre and is swiftly responded to.

Themba Mhambi, the Sanral Board Chairperson, has urged South Africans to report any potholes via the Pothole App, as it allows the government to identify problems while helping hold various road authorities accountable.

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