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How much it costs to fix South Africa’s potholes

It will cost an estimated R700 to R1,500 per square metre to repair potholes present in South Africa’s road network.

This is according to a report by BusinessTech, which stated the figure was provided by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula.

Mbalula gave the figure as part of a reply to a parliamentary question.

The minister added, however, that removing potholes completely in the country would be an almost-impossible task.

“It is difficult to eradicate potholes on the road network as the emergence of new potholes depends entirely on the extent and nature of rainfall in that month or year,” he said.

Mbalula went on to state that the majority of South Africa’s provincial road networks were never designed for the traffic volumes they currently handle – which worsens matters.

In terms of tackling the issue of potholes, Mbalula said they have allocated R12 billion per year to the Provincial Road Maintenance Grant.

This will cover road rehabilitation, strengthening, and more.

The number of potholes in South Africa

The exact number of potholes in South Africa is another hurdle to contend with, as this is unknown.

The report stated this is in part due to the size of the country’s road network. There are 754,600km of roads and streets, according to the latest government figures.

Africa Check, however, has stated there may be as many as 100,000 potholes in the Johannesburg metro alone.

Its November 2020 report referenced figures from the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA), which stated that around 6,000 service delivery request at the time related to the “fixing of potholes”.

It said that for each reported pothole there are “about eight to 15 potholes” in total.

This mean that 6,000 requests for potholes to be fixed could in actuality be 48,000 to 90,000 potholes on the roads.

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