the pothole brigade leads by example
The Dial Direct Pothole Brigade, which launched as a pilot-project in August 2010, today announced its partnership with Lead SA, an initiative that aims to mobilise South Africans to be the change they want to see.
The Pothole Brigade will also be working in conjunction with the Gauteng Provincial Department of Roads and Transport and the Johannesburg Roads Agency, in order to broaden its scope of repair in Johannesburg.
The Pothole Brigade urges motorists who identify potholes to report these either online via www.leadsa.co.za or www.potholebrigade.co.za; by dialing *120*1551# on a cellphone and following the onscreen instructions (STD USSD rates apply); or via the mobi site - potholebrigade.mobi.
According to Bradley Du Chenne, Senior Executive: Dial Direct Insurance, “Over 3500 potholes have been repaired in and around Johannesburg since the pilot launch and our innovative pothole reporting technology has been well-received by the public.
“With this additional support from Lead SA and Government, we will supplement the work already being done by Government agencies - in the spirit of partnership. Dial Direct is all about providing simple, smart insurance solutions and The Pothole Brigade follows suit by offering a simple, smart solution to an issue that affects us all. This initiative could also eliminate unnecessary claims on motorist’s car insurance policies and save motorists money in the long run.”
A memorandum of understanding was signed by Dial Direct, the Gauteng Provincial Department of Roads and Transport and the Johannesburg Roads Agency this morning to cement the long-term commitment to this initiative.
“Lead SA encourages South Africans to stand up and make a difference,” said Primedia Broadcasting CEO and driver of the Lead SA initiative, Terry Volkwyn.
“With The Pothole Brigade, Dial Direct is not only standing up, they are also creating a platform for the public to make a difference. By simply reporting a problem, motorists on our roads are standing up – and they get to see the impact their seemingly small action has made. It’s a way of seeing the Lead SA principles in action, and will hopefully encourage users to report other problems in their environment.
“Furthermore, this initiative brings together the public and private sector, and highlights the great solutions that are possible when we work together. We thank Dial Direct as well as the Gauteng Provincial Department of Roads and Transport and the Johannesburg Roads Agency for coming together to Lead SA.”
The Dial Direct Pothole Brigade uses innovative ‘Jetpatcher’ technology to repair potholes. The Jetpatcher series of pothole patching machines were designed and built in New Zealand and have been used by Local Government, National Highway Authorities and contractors for over 20 years in more than 15 countries around the world.
The operator then feeds aggregate into the jet distributor. As the aggregate or dry stone material passes through the nozzle it is coated with fresh emulsion and is sprayed into the pothole or broken road edge. Because the Jetpatcher’s asphalt mix is sprayed at speeds of up to 100km/hr, compaction is achieved from the bottom up, and the result is denser than rolled asphalt.
The top of the repair is then protected from the traffic flow using dry aggregate sprayed from the Jetpatcher. This process results in a quality repair that takes very little time and avoids further damage to the road base. A 500mm x 500mm pothole that is 150mm deep takes 15 minutes to prepare and fill. It can then be driven over immediately.
“The Department of Roads and Transport welcomes the official launch of The Dial Direct Pothole Brigade joint initiative and proudly affirms our commitment to be part of this Public-Private-Partnership,” says MEC Ismail Vadi. “The Johannesburg Roads Agency is already repairing on average of 5 000 potholes per month. Believing in the importance of government working together with the private sector and civil society - we think that this partnership will enable us to do even more in the interests of the citizens of Johannesburg", said Rehana Moosajee, MMC for Transport in the City of Johannesburg.
Du Chenne advises that if you do unwittingly drive over a pothole and you are concerned, get your car checked-out by a professional, particularly if there are bumps protruding from the sidewall of your tyre, if there is recurring loss of air pressure and if there is vibration in the steering wheel, the seat of your vehicle or at your feet in the foot-well.
“Then, log onto www.leadsa.co.za or www.potholebrigade.co.za to report the pothole so that Once you report a pothole to The Dial Direct Pothole Brigade, a reference number, which you can use to track the repair status of the pothole, will be sent to you. You will also have the opportunity to opt in for updates via SMS or email.
The pothole you report will be inspected and if The Dial Direct Pothole Brigade can repair it, it will be filled using Jetpatcher technology.
If the pothole is beyond The Dial Direct Pothole Brigade’s scope of repair, the details will be sent on to either the Gauteng Provincial Department of Roads and Transport or the Johannesburg Roads Agency.
“The best thing about this initiative is that it won’t cost motorists a cent. Dial Direct is covering all the costs of repairs. Our intention is to make a difference and to give something back to the community,” concludes Du Chenne.