You can now get an official qualification in fixing potholes in South Africa

 ·29 Feb 2024

South Africans can now qualify to fix potholes through the Discovery Pothole Patrol Academy, which launched on 1 February 2024.

Discovery announced the official launch of the academy on Wednesday (28 February) in partnership with Avis Southern Africa.

“In its first official year, which kicked off on 1 February 2024, the Academy is providing classroom and on-the-job training to 24 learners through EduWize, an accredited leadership and skills development provider,” said Discovery.

It added that the official launch follows a successful pilot in 2023, which included 18 learners.

According to Discovery, the academy is now accredited by the Insurance Sector Education and Training Authority (INSETA) to offer a 12-month practical skills training programme providing an NQF Level 3 qualification.

“Participants will obtain a National Certificate in Roadworks Construction upon completion,” the insurer said.

“We want to sustainably uplift the academy’s learners so that once they complete the 12-month programme, they know how to repair potholes and what to do in a road construction environment and are equipped to start their own business.

“It is exciting to see that one of the people who was trained under the Discovery Pothole Patrol has started his own business in KwaZulu-Natal and created employment opportunities through his company,” said Kgodiso Mokonyane, Head of Strategy and Value Added & Ancillary Products at Discovery Insure.

“It’s not only about getting an NQF-level qualification – it’s about making a real and lasting impact in our society,” she added.

Discovery Insure and Avis believe that the benefits of the Discovery Pothole Patrol Academy will extend beyond graduation, aligning with both companies’ Corporate Social Investment initiatives.

Since the Pothole Patrol’s launch in 2021, the initiative has repaired over 200,000 potholes on major Johannesburg roads. Initially, the project aimed to repair 1,000 potholes a week, but it has exceeded this target by 25%.

This initiative was launched in the face of South Africa’s crumbling roads and the lack of resources to fix failures like potholes.

According to the Department of Transport, roughly 44,949 potholes were reported per the National System as of 7 November 2023.

Gauteng tops the table with 20,220 potholes reported, followed by Free State with 7,067, whereas Northern Cape reported 464 at the bottom.

However, little has been done to address these reported potholes, as transport minister Sindisiwe Chikunga noted municipal and department officials aren’t trained to use the new system. This is over a year after the app was launched.

“The biggest challenge is that most pothole complaints cannot be correctly and automatically allocated using the system.

“It is on this basis that SANRAL is currently training officials from Provinces and Municipalities on the usage of the App under the theme “Train the Trainer,” said Chikunga.

Read: South Africa is getting two new universities – here’s what they will offer

Show comments
Subscribe to our daily newsletter