South Africa’s pothole problem has become so significant that the fibre network operator Frogfoot is jumping in to help.
Frogfoot and Grahamstown Wi-Fi have partnered with a local service provider in a two-month road upliftment project to fix potholes in Makhanda (Grahamstown).
Jacques du Toit, CEO of Vox – which owns Frogfoot – said that various levels of infrastructure should work in harmony.
“Of course, there is annoyance in the necessary digging up of pavements, but it pays off when residents get access to world-class ICT services,” said Du Toit.
“The next step is supporting road safety and tourism, while benefiting the local economy.”
“Potholes are more than a nuisance and pose a financial and safety risk,” he added.
Grahamstown Wi-Fi co-founder Thinus Jurgens said they have already identified around 300 potholes in the city.
“As a local resident, the deterioration of the roads hits home on a personal level,” Jurgens said.
The companies have partnered with SAE General Contractors led by Colin Hare to fix eight potholes a day using cold pre-mixed tar which Jurgens said was built to last.
He added that their process would involve working on small sections of road at a time to limit disruption to traffic.
“This is important to us as locals as it forms part of the general refurbishment and upliftment of our city,” said Jurgens.
“We need to go through the necessary digging lay fibre. Residents are now starting to enjoy world-class, high-speed internet, and the roads we all use every day are about to enjoy the next improvement.”
Frogfoot and Grahamstown Wi-Fi are not the only private companies which have announced initiatives to fix potholes recently.
in early May, Insurance companies Discovery and Dialdirect launched “Pothole Patrol” in Johannesburg.
“This initiative will contribute to reducing the frequency and severity of road accidents across the city for insured and uninsured drivers alike,” they said.
As part of that campaign, insurers will help to fix potholes in the metro in addition to providing their significant data about road conditions.
The latter is collected through the insurers’ telematics data which measures how vehicles are driven, and can infer the condition of the road as a result.
The Pothole Patrols started on Monday 3 May 2021, with priority given to busy roads.
A smartphone app will allow residents of the City to log pothole locations is also under development.
Below are more images of Frogfoot and Grahamstown Wi-Fi while on the job fixing potholes in the town.