How to claim for pothole damage

Johannesburg - With so many of the city’s roads still looking like war zones after the heavy rains of a few weeks ago, tyre fitment centres are being inundated by hapless motorists who are paying expensive bills – or losing their insurance no-claims bonuses – to replace wheels and tyres damaged by potholes.

There is a way, however, to claim this money from the Johannesburg Roads Agency, which is responsible for maintaining the city’s roads. But be warned that it’s a fairly long and complicated process.

A car passes a pothole in Immink Drive near Bara Hospital in Soweto. Claiming from the Joburg Roads Agency is a long and complicated process. Picture: Itumeleng English. Credit: INLSA

For starters, download a claim form from the JRA website, (click on the Claim for Vehicle Damage icon under Customer Service).

In addition to completing the claim form, attach the following documents:

1. A police affidavit

2. A Copy of the claimant’s driving licence (in case of vehicle damage)

3. The vehicle’s registration documents (in case of vehicle damage)

4. A copy of the claimant’s ID

5. Photos of the damage to the car (in case of vehicle damage)

6. Three quotations or invoice/proof of payment

7. A letter from the claimant’s insurance company confirming that the claim was not logged to own insurance or an affidavit of non-insurance

8. A doctor’s report if there is personal injury.

The form must be emailed or faxed to 086 743 3471.

Don’t do both, as this delays the process.

If you don’t receive acknowledgement of receipt within three days with a reference number, email the JRA claims office or call 0860 562 874 or 011 298 5001.

The JRA says the process takes time and each claim is assessed on its merits, which means not all claims will be successfully paid out.

JRA spokeswoman Bertha Peters-Scheepers is aware of motorists’ frustration, but says the agency’s emergency team is “working 24/7 trying the repair the worst-affected areas”.