• Does your child have unlimited access to the Internet and apps on their phones? If you have not considered online dangers and health risks for your child, you have to read the article published in Servamus: June 2021.

  • Children as young as 12 years start to experiment with drugs. Make sure that you read the article published in Servamus: June 2021 to learn what parents can do if they expect that their child is using drugs.

  • During divorce battles one parent often alienates the other from having a relationship with their children. In Servamus: June 2021 we discuss this form of emotional abuse of parents and children.

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By Kotie Geldenhuys

Desperate to get the Umgeni Municipality’s attention to fix the dangerous potholes on the roads in the Howick area in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, residents participated in a tongue-in-cheek pothole fishing competition at the end of February 2021. This “competition” was hosted to voice their concerns about the collapsing road infrastructure along the Curry’s Post Road, a busy tourist road in the area (Govender, 2021). Although this was meant as a mockery of the municipality’s seeming inability to fix the potholes in the area, potholes across South Africa’s ageing road infrastructure are a big concern. They not only damage vehicles but also cost road users their lives.

Motorists are constantly confronted with poor road conditions and the threat of the dreaded pothole. Over the past few years, potholes have developed at an enormous rate on South African roads. According to the South African Automobile Association (AA), as much as 60% of South Africa’s 535 000 km road network have potholes or are in need of maintenance (De Villiers, 2018). In some areas, pothole repairs are swift, while in others, it may take months if not years to repair a pothole. Another big problem might be the quality of the repair to potholes, which often only lasts until the next rain shower.

Factors that contribute to the formation of potholes
Potholes are caused by the expansion and contraction of groundwater when water enters the ground under the road surface. The weight of vehicles which pass over the weak spot in the road will cause the tar of the road to be displaced or break down and create a pothole (Summit County Engineer, 2020). The increase in potholes can be attributed to reduced maintenance of many roads, combined with weather conditions such as higher than average seasonal rainfalls and changes in temperature. Apart from these factors, overloaded trucks and buses are also a big problem.

Heavy trucks cause the road surface to crack. Water then flows through these cracks into underlying layers which causes the loosening of the material, that eventually collapses and results in a pothole. It is therefore important that overloaded trucks and buses are addressed. This involves the effective control of traffic loading to ensure that it does not exceed the design loading (Paige-Green et al, 2010) and enforcement at weigh bridges.

Potholes not unique to South Africa
The pothole problem is not unique to South Africa. In fact, in 2018 it was reported that 2.2 million potholes on UK roads were repaired over a 12-month period at a total cost of nearly £120 million (Evans, 2018). A 2017/ 2018 study conducted by Confused.com, which is part of a British insurance company, found that the total depth of potholes in the UK is 33 422 m, which is three times the depth of the Pacific Ocean. In the USA, one pothole was around for so long that a man from Kansas City, Missouri threw a birthday party for it in July 2019, with a birthday cake and a candle (Newman, 2019). In the USA, damage caused to vehicles by potholes, costs drivers an average of $3 billion annually. If one takes into consideration that the average cost to build an entirely new high school building in the USA is $45 million, it means that the Americans can build 67 new high schools every year with the money they spend on repairs to vehicles as a result of the damage caused by potholes (Goreham, 2019). It is clear that potholes are a global problem that affects numerous countries.


[This is only an extract of this shocking article published in Servamus: April 2021. If you are interested in finding out how you can read the rest of the article discussing damage to vehicles; claims against the government; how potholes result in crashes and come at a high cost; as well as safe driving techniques on a potholed road, send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..]

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Servamus - June 2021

Not a day goes by that we do not see or interact with a private security officer - either when we visit a shopping centre, have a security crisis at home or at the office or when a private security officer passes us while patrolling the neighbourhoods in their vehicles.
By Annalise Kempen
Family murder is a heartbreaking topic and one will never understand how parents can commit such acts involving their own children.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
“I am John. My ‘new’ father enjoyed a couple of drinks at night and then started swearing at my mother.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
When the eight-year-old victim of Nicolas Ninow (the so-called Dros rapist) was asked to testify in court, social media users were up in arms about the reason why this young victim had to testify.
By Kotie Geldenhuys

Pollex - June 2021

Read More - S v Klaas, Case No: CC51/2020, dated 30 November 2020, High Court Grahamstown (ECG)
Mr Wandile Klaas, hereinafter referred to as the accused, was convicted by the High Court in Grahamstown (nowadays called Makhanda) of count 1: housebreaking with intent to commit theft; count 2: rape; and count 3: theft.
A discussion entitled “Before the accused has pleaded to the charge” and/or, “Two men have been taken in for questioning by the police”, was published in Ask Pollex in Servamus: November 2020.
Read More - S v Thabani Luthuli Case no: AR 106/2020 High Court in Pietermaritzburg, KZN (KZP)
Introduction Mr Thabani Luthuli, the accused, was convicted before the regional court in Ixopo in KZN (“the trial court”) of count 1, housebreaking with the intent to rape, and, count 2, rape.

Letters - June 2021

Securing a conviction in a murder case is always a reason to celebrate that justice has been served.
June Magazine Cover

Servamus' Mission

Servamus is a community-based safety and security magazine for both members of the community as well as safety and security practitioners with the aim of increasing knowledge and sharing information, dedicated to improving their expertise, professionalism and service delivery standards. It promotes sound crime management practices, freedom of speech, education, training, information sharing and a networking platform.