Fill up ‘em potholes

Navigating South Africa’s holey roads is like playing a game, except it’s zero fun, the points are made up and your car gets screwed. We’re guessing insurance companies are tired of paying out for pothole-related accidents, so we think it’s a real win-win for Discovery Insurance and DialDirect to partner with the City of Johannesburg (CoJ) to launch “The Pothole Patrol Project”. It kicked off two weeks ago and will run for at least the next five years to patch up ALL our potholes! The intervention comes as the CoJ says it cannot afford to maintain roads because its budget is just too strained.

But this makes us wonder how it’s managing its finances, considering the crazy high mark-ups it puts on things like electricity and other municipal bills – that’s the gap between what it buys services for and what it sells it on to us as residents. In 2019/2020 the city’s financial report showed that it had an effective operating mark-up of 72%. Upon billing, the mark-up amounted to 101% for bulk water, power, sanitation and refuse removal! Flip. Bring on the local government elections already. In the meantime, yay for fewer potholes.

This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 15 April 2021. Sign up to receive our weekly updates