The Arrive Alive website has received an increasing amount of emails from road users concerned with the condition of our roads. These emails have been referred to the Department of Transport and the National Roads Agency.
The potholes do not only endanger the lives of travellers driving away from the National roads [“N” roads], but are also contributing to increased vehicle damage!
The full extent of the problem was highlighted earlier this week in a report on Eyewitness News. It is reported in a snap poll by Eyewitness News that around six of every 10 cars taken to tyre centres in Gauteng are there because of pothole or construction damage. It has emerged poor road conditions in the country could be costing the economy as much as R18bn a year.
Eyewitness News called various tyre fitment centres and retailers across the province and just about all had the same response – deteriorating road conditions were good for business. Some estimate between seven and nine out of every 10 cars they attended to, were there because of potholes or construction. They agreed the figure increased exponentially over the past few years.
“It’s increased dramatically. The number of tyres we replace due to tyres we replace due to road damage compared to about three years ago has probably doubled,” said one centre.
The South African Chamber of Commerce has also expressed concern about the lengthy delays on our roads around Johannesburg. The chamber’s Neren Rau said potholes, the absence of road markings, malfunctioning traffic lights and accidents were all problematic.
The Johannesburg Roads Agency is likely to experience a spike in claims as persistent wet weather exacerbates the pothole problem across the city.
There will be increased litigation if attention is not given to repairing these dangerous road conditions. It is important to remember that vehicle damage from road works and poor road conditions on the “N” roads can be addressed to the South African National Roads Agency and their insurer.
Damage suffered as a result of poor maintenance and failure to repair road conditions on other roads have to be addressed to the local municipality and department of roads/ public works in that area.