SANRAL clarifies claims of 25 million potholes on South Africa’s roads

SANRAL clarifies claims of 25 million potholes on South Africa’s roads

Gauteng, 19 February 2023 – SANRAL wishes to clarify claims circulating in the public domain about South Africa having 25 million potholes.

In a presentation at the South African Roads Federation (SARF) Conference held in Cape Town during October 2022, one of the speakers, a former SARF president, Mr Mutshutshu Nxumalo, claimed there were more than 25 million potholes on South Africa’s roads.

The national roads agency would like to clarify that the estimate of 25 million potholes was not derived from SANRAL but was presented at an event in which it participated.

SANRAL has reservations about this figure. Given that South Africa has a paved network of 168,000 kilometres, 25 million would equate to 149 potholes for every kilometre, which is improbable and unlikely.

“We do not dispute that South Africa has a pothole crisis and we remain committed to working with provinces and municipalities to address it. However, we must be realistic about the nature and extent of the problem. We recognise the work done by so many municipalities and provincial departments in fixing potholes on their respective roads.

“We are, however, unable to provide reliable statistics as to the exact number of potholes which have been repaired to date and will be requiring more administrative cooperation from the various authorities to actively report their progress so that we can have a more accurate grasp of the progress made across the country,” said the roads agency’s spokesperson Vusi Mona.

He emphasized that feedback and opinions are important to roads authorities because they reflect the experience of the people who use the roads. “We take these seriously. But even so, we must be careful when using statistical data so that we don’t exaggerate the challenges we are facing,” said Mona.