File photo: Timothy Bernard

Johannesburg - Starting next month, the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) is “recruiting” all smartphone owners to help improve service delivery on the city’s roads.

The agency has announced the launch of a new application for the Windows Mobile, Android and Apple operating systems with which residents – in just a few clicks – can report the location of potholes, clogged storm drains, faulty traffic signals and other infrastructure problems.

Drivers and pedestrians can snap a picture of any road defect and upload it to the app, which will record the location. A service request will be created automatically and a number will be assigned to the complaint.

Residents will receive a notification when the status of their complaint has changed.

All lodged complaints can be viewed on the app’s map function.

The free app, called Find & Fix, will be released on May 14, but a beta-testing version is currently available for Microsoft platforms. Android users can download the beta version on May 2 and Apple users on May 9.

Customers had been frustrated with the customer call centre, agency officials said, and the new app would give Joburg residents faster access to the agency.

The project coincides with the JRA’s aim of completing an agency turnaround, managing director Skhumbuzo Macozoma said.

Along with the new app, the JRA has been working to upgrade all Joburg roads and get rid of suppliers who provide substandard service.

Yesterday, the agency released an open letter to JRA service providers, saying they would no longer conduct business with suppliers who provide substandard service delivery, poor health and safety records, or had a legacy of corruption.

Agency officials cited instances during which suppliers had shortchanged the council. While making minor repairs, the JRA discovered roads had not been laid according to council-approved plans.

The JRA’s budget for next year will be twice that of the current one.

The Star