The Discovery Pothole Patrol formalises its Academy to create jobs and drive sustainable change

Johannesburg, 28 February 2024: Discovery is proud to announce the official launch of the Discovery Pothole Patrol Academy in partnership with Avis Southern Africa.

Following a successful pilot in 2023 with 18 learners, the Academy is now accredited by the Insurance Sector Education and Training Authority (INSETA) to offer a 12-month practical skills training programme providing an NQF Level 3 qualification. In its first official year, which kicked off on 1 February 2024, the Academy is providing classroom and on-the job-training to 24 learners through EduWize, an accredited learnership and skills development provider.

Participants are men and women aged 22 to 34 from previously disadvantaged communities and will obtain a National Certificate in Roadworks Construction upon completion. The aim of the programme is to equip participants with road construction skills and the confidence to start their own business one day.

Kgodiso Mokonyane, Head of Strategy and Value Added & Ancillary Products at Discovery Insure elaborates, “We want to sustainably uplift the academy’s learners so that once they complete the 12-month programme, they not only know how to repair potholes and what to do in a road construction environment but are equipped to start their own business. It is exciting to see that one of the people who was trained under the Discovery Pothole Patrol has started his own business in KwaZulu-Natal and created employment opportunities through his company.”

Image: Kgodiso Mokonyane, Head of Strategy and Value Added & Ancillary Products at Discovery Insure.

“This proves that being part of the Pothole Patrol Academy can be a life-changing experience. It’s not only about getting an NQF-level qualification – it’s about making a real and lasting impact in our society,” she adds.

Discovery Insure and Avis believe the Discovery Pothole Patrol Academy will generate value long after participants graduate from the programme, a key attribute of both companies’ Corporate Social Investment initiatives.

“As a mobility business, with thousands of vehicles on the road, we have an equal responsibility of ensuring that we advocate for road safety in our communities. Therefore, being part of the Discovery Pothole Patrol initiative ensures that we carry out this responsibility,” says Litha Nkombisa – Chief Sales Officer at Avis Southern Africa.

The establishment of the Academy speaks to the impact of Pothole Patrol, driven by Discovery and Avis with support from the City of Johannesburg, with over 200,000 potholes repaired on major Johannesburg roads since launching in 2021. The initiative’s initial target was to repair 1,000 potholes a week – which it has exceeded this by 25%.

Image: Pothole Patrol employees in front of a Pothole Patrol van.

Pothole Patrol reflects Discovery Insure’s vision of creating a nation of safer drivers and roads by assisting with the City’s pothole repair backlog. This is enabled by a combination of AI technology used by the pothole patrollers to map and detect potholes and an app for the public to report potholes. Using geolocation data, the app allows Johannesburg residents to report the exact location of a pothole to the Discovery Pothole Patrol, which also helps repair some of the reported potholes that the Johannesburg Roads Agency can’t timeously attend to.

Anybody can report a pothole in Johannesburg by simply downloading the free Discovery Pothole Patrol mobile app (available for iOS and Android), register, and then upload a picture or capture their location.


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