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As motorists drive to and from work this week, they might notice a change on the roads: fewer potholes thanks to a newly launched app between the City of Johannesburg and two insurance companies.

Yesterday, (12 October 2021) the Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, Cllr Mpho Moerane, signed an agreement between the City, Dialdirect and Discovery insurance companies, resulting in the launch of a new Pothole Patrol app and Whatsapp bot to fast-track the ongoing war on potholes across the municipality.

The launch of the app and the bot comes after the Pothole Patrol partnership has seen over 50 000 potholes repaired since the collaboration was sealed by the late Mayor Geoffrey Makhubo with the two companies in May 2021.

“The Pothole Patrol collaboration is exactly the kind of partnership that Johannesburg needs more of in other municipal areas of service delivery such as waste management, power supply, as well as infrastructure investment and development, among others. This way, we can easily build a better Johannesburg together,” said Mayor Moerane.

Motorists are urged to download the Pothole Patrol app on Apple App Store or Google Play. Alternatively, one can WhatsApp the word 'Hi' to 084 768 4653 (084 POT HOLE) and follow the prompts. 

A few hours later, Mayor Moerane was back in the inner city as he officially opened Africa’s largest intermodal transport hub - the Johannesburg International Transport Interchange (JITI) on the west of Park Station in Newtown for long distance commuters.

At 50 000m², the JITI will see approximately 1500 travellers a day arrive or depart to destinations within the Southern African Development Community.
 
Speaking during the handover ceremony, Mayor Moerane said: “JITI is a long-term investment that forms part of the inner-city development plan designed to create accessible, safe and reliable public transport with convenient connectivity to different modes of transport.”
 
“The facility boasts a bus terminal for cross border buses as well as ranking and holding space for 800 taxis; ranking space for 158 taxis and ranking for 20 buses. The facility in addition has over 3 300m² space devoted to trading for both large retail outlets and informal traders, banks, ticketing offices and food courts,” the Mayor said.

Through the JITI investment, 28 small to medium enterprises were contracted at the commencement of the facility development.

After dealing with all matters transport, Mayor Moerane left the inner city for Norwood in northern Joburg for the final official opening of the day where he was joined by members of the Mayoral Committee, to cut the ribbon at the Paterson Park Multipurpose Centre.

Now residents of Norwood finally have a safe, secure and brand new modern recreational and art facility in their hood.

“The state of the art multipurpose precinct boast a wide range of sport and recreational programs, activities and events. There’s furthermore a visual art space that can be used for painting, sculpting and other fine arts activities, including performance studios that can be used for children’s theatre,” said Mayor Moerane.

There are more than 70 floodlights surrounding the multiple outdoor sport facilities, and the streetlights supply ample and secure lighting for parking areas. The facility also boast high tech equipment such as green technology solar panels and ventilation systems, an integrated irrigation system with a rainwater catchment reservoir, and an industrial generator.

“Indeed we’ve come a long way of our dark days of apartheid. This is certainly part of encouraging residents, young and old, to live healthier lifestyles. It is precincts such as these that show Johannesburg is determined to become a world-class African City. However, as a municipality we can only do so much. It is in the hands of the community to ensure the Paterson Park Multipurpose Centre becomes a place of pride where great memories and heroes are made.”

MMC for Community Development Cllr Margaret Arnolds dedicated the opening of the facility to the late Mayor Jolidee Matongo. “This facility is opened up in his honour,” she said.

The development of Paterson Park dates back to 1998 and in 2013, then the Executive Mayor of the City, Cllr Parks Tau, initiated the Corridors of Freedom and the Paterson Park Precinct Plan was included in the initiative. The Johannesburg Development Agency started work in May 2015 with a total budget of R120 million.

Written by Ayanda Radebe and Brümilda Swartbooi
13/10/2021