Having officially launched the Find & Fix mobile application earlier this month at the Microsoft Building, in Sandton, theJohannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) says the application is one of the communication tools used to convert the JRA into a centre of engineering excellence.

As the JRA is responsible for the planning, designing and construction of road infrastructure in the City of Johannesburg, JRA MD Skhumbuzo Macozoma stated at the launch of the mobile application that it was important for the agency to have adequate data on the state of roads in Johannesburg to fulfil its mandate.

Macozoma pointed out that, since his appoint-ment as MD in September 2012, the JRA had conducted a ‘road condition’ assessment of roads in the City of Johannesburg and was currently completing its ten-year development plan for the City of Johannesburg, which not only considered ways of improving the existing roads but also addressed the issue of improving the conditions of the roads.

As a result, he stated, the JRA had compiled a strategic framework that clearly delineated the systems that it would use to improve road infrastructure in the city.

The strategic framework contains four core programmes – resurfacing, rehabilitation, gravel road upgrades and bridge inspection – which the JRA believes will assist in improving the state of the roads in the city.

The resurfacing programme pertains to roads that are still in a good condition, but need to be resurfaced. The rehabilitation programme deals with roads that need to be completely reconstructed, as these roads cannot be resurfaced. The bridge inspection programme assesses the state of the bridges in the city and whether they need, or will need, reconstruction or resurfacing. The gravelroad upgrades programme targets the townships, where the need for road infrastructure remains, which will replace gravel roads.

“The programmes are running in parallel so that one programme is not prioritised over another. This resonates our aim to improve road infrastructure in the city holistically,” he noted.

Macozoma added that the launch of the mobile application formed part of the JRA’s turnaround strategy of more effective service delivery while the agency committed to developing engineering excellence to ensure it had satisfied customers.

The application enables the public to report potholes and faulty traffic signals, as well as stormwater drains, missing manhole covers and other infrastructure defects that are the responsibility of the JRA.

Macozoma also explained that the application facilitated faster turnaround times, enabled ongoing communication in service progression and allowed for media alerts to be sent out on hot spots and prereported issues in a specific area.

“Citizens will now be able access the JRA a lot quicker, which prompts us to improve the levels of productivity and accountability, and ensure that everybody in the agency begins to subscribe to the notion of performance management,” he emphasised.

The application is available for download using most mobile operating system platforms, such as Windows Phone 8, Android and iOS for Apple phones.

“It provides an accurate location with global positioning system coordinates and makes it easy to provide photo evidence, which complements the JRA’s ability to plan repairs more scientifically, based on the reports and data received.