JRA MD Skhumbuzo Macozoma.

JRA MD Skhumbuzo Macozoma.

Amid the persisting potholes problem on South African roads, the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) launched its Find & Fix mobile app for testing by citizens earlier this month to identify and report any road infrastructure problems they encounter on the roads in Johannesburg.

This comes after torrential rain in February caused existing potholes – which are formed when fine particles in a road layer are washed out by a combination of water ingress and pressure caused by vehicles on the layer – to widen. Subsequently, the larger particles become unbound and loose, unable to form a dense mass that can support any pressure.

JRA MD Skhumbuzo Macozoma says the app is the first of its kind to be launched in the southern hemisphere and believes it will assist the public in reporting potholes, faulty traffic signals, blocked stormwater drains, missing manhole covers and other infrastructure issues for which the JRA is responsible.

“The app has a feature that [gives] an accurate location of where the pothole might have been seen, while also giving global positioning system coordinates. This makes it easy to provide photo evidence, which, in turn, improves the JRA’s assessment of what is required to fix the problem, thereby enhancing efficiency and increasing productivity,” he notes.

The app has been available for download on cell- phones using Windows from April 25, on cell-phones using Android from May 2 and on Apple cellphones using iOS on May 9; the JRA urges citizens to join in testing the efficiency of the app.

“The launch of this testing phase for the mobile app is part of the JRA service delivery drive – the ‘just tell us’ campaign – which is an initiative to ensure that the JRA is more accessible to citizens and road users in Johannesburg. The campaign also aims to stimulateJohannesburg’s Active Citizenry priority focus, which promotes the active involvement of citizens in Johannesburg’s service delivery activities,” explains Macozoma.

He mentions that the JRA is taking its obliga-tions for service delivery seriously by launching this app, as it has also made available an email address, as well as Twitter and Facebook sites, to enable residents to interact using convenient platforms. The JRA has also launched a service-delivery mailbox for service queries that have not been resolved the first time or as promised.

“The JRA is committed to becoming a centre of engineering excellence with service delivery efficiencies and satisfied customers,” Macozoma concludes.