How to claim for your tyre due to potholes

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Many Mzansi motorists suffer damage to their car, tyres or wheel rims as a result of the road conditions. According to Insurance company Auto and General, between January 2020 and January 2021 there has been as much as a 47% increase in the number of claims from insurance holders due to tyre and rim damage as a result of the bad road conditions Mzansi drivers experience everyday. Areas most popular with these claims include KZN, GP and MP but funny enough areas with one of the worst conditions experienced i.e. EC is not high on the list.


This leads us to suspect, not much is know about how and what can be claimed from an insurance policy/ government or at worst, most people are not covered by insurance. The area of not knowing is the reason why #Fundimali is there as such financial literacy issues deserve more prominence in our society. Although its easier to claim from an insurance company as there is a broker or insurance call centre to assist, on the government side, not much is know on how to do these claims. One should remember that through SANRAL, Municipalities, Districts and Metros, government takes full responsibility for road maintenance and as such should you suffer financial loss as a result of this lack of responsibility, you should take your replacement costs to the one who deserves it, GOVERNMENT.


To make a claim you need to have the following documents:

  1. Police affidavit.
  2. A copy of driver’s license and ID.
  3. Vehicle registration documents.
  4. Photos of the damaged car, tyre or rim.
  5. Quotations of invoice/payment for the replacement.
  6. Doctors report if you sustained injury and letters from the insurance company.
  7. Insurance letter confirming you won’t be claiming from your policy as well.

You will need to contact the responsible organ of state i.e. institution that is responsible for maintaining the road. This is where it can get tricky as you will need to ensure that you talk to the right person and the key in that is on the road naming which we use everyday. The N1, N2, N3 are amongst the most famous road in Mzansi but the suffixes are very important in letting you know who is responsible for these roads as these roads cover many provinces. The table below shows the road numbering and who is responsible for the road i.e. who to contact in case of pothole claims.

Common abbreviation ZA
Road class Syntaxexplanation Administrative subordination
National route




National – SANRAL


Major provincial/ regional route




National – SANRAL or Provincial Transport / Works


Minor provincial route




National – SANRAL or Provincial Transport / Works


Secondary routes




Free state/Vrystaat


District routes




District Municipality


Metropolitan routes




Metro Municipal area (urban area)



The road suffix at the beginning of each road name is the key as can be seen from the image below:


In case of damage, call the organisation responsible and ask for their road claims section. They will supply you with a form which you will have to fill and submit with all the required info or attachments. Best is to cover the initial costs or replacement yourself instead of waiting for the claim to be paid before you replace the damages as claims may take a while.