South Africa


SA pothole tales, as told by Daily Maverick readers

SA pothole tales, as told by Daily Maverick readers
A pothole in Blouberg on 28 July 2021 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo: Gallo Images / Misha Jordaan)

Encountering a pothole while navigating South Africa's roads can sadly be said to be a rite of passage for most South African motorists. In a bid to highlight the issue of potholes on South Africa's roadways, we reached out to Daily Maverick readers, urging them to capture and share images of these road hazards. And share they did, not only revealing the South African sense of humour but the poor state of our transport infrastructure.

Champagne Valley, Cathkin Park, South Africa. “While visiting Dragon Peaks, we noticed this pothole in the shape of Africa. Oh the irony.” – Warren Wootton (Photo: Warren Wootton)

“On the Grahamstown Bedford Road.” (Photo: Catherine Mitchell)

Melrose, Johannesburg. “Been there forever.” (Photo: Daily Maverick reader)

“Year after year, rain carves out this pothole in the same street, at the same place in Radiokop. Any effort to fill it only lasts until the next large storm comes through, after which it only becomes deeper. This time, someone placed a potted geranium in the hole, which at least warns oncoming traffic that this is now a single-lane road.” (Photo: Daily Maverick reader)

“This pothole was ‘fixed’ once before, with sand put into the hole. However, when the rains in December arrived, the hole opened up again. Residents attempted to make the hole more visible to prevent people from losing their tyres. Since it was Christmas time, some decoration was needed to maintain the festive spirit. Here, my son is adding some tinsel. Unfortunately, a few days later, the hole was once again ‘fixed’, and the decorations disappeared. There are now plans under way for a Valentine’s Day beautification of the hole.” (Photo: Daily Maverick reader)

Pothole cavity. “A dentist practice in our area utilised the pothole as an advertising tool on their page, with the caption ‘Don’t let your teeth deteriorate like our roads’. This was done in 2022.” (Photo: Gail Wilson)

“Knysna – If you can’t fix it, turn it into a roundabout!!!” (Photo: Daily Maverick reader)

“I’m curious about who placed the warning measures around it. I love the sign that tells us it’s our democracy, and we must own it.” (Photo: Viv Spooner)

“It’s been filled in but was on First Ave West, Parktown North. Joburg Water dug a huge hole and left it unfilled for ages. This happened a couple of years ago, but it’s still my favourite pothole picture! Unfortunately, I don’t have the name of the swimmer or the photographer.” (Photo: Melanie Walker)

“Unfortunately, I live in Cape Town, so when I try to photograph a pothole, the City Council has already repaired it!” (Photo: Guy Louw)

Corner Buckingham and Clarence Ave, Craighall Park. “A bust water pipe on 11 August 2023, more than six months ago!” (Photo: Joss du Trevou)

“One of the many digs by City Power to replace cables in Urania Street, Observatory, Johannesburg. This particular one is about five years old. The really deep ones are always done by Johannesburg Water.” (Photo: Keith S Peacock)

R48 between Petrusville and Philipstown. “Been there for years. Heavy trucks also contribute to this catastrophe, since railway systems are inoperative.” (Photo: Thomas Gerber)

Use the Sanral Pothole App to report potholes:


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