Infrastructure measurements on the South African road network.

iPAVe: Free State Department of Community Safety, Roads & Transport


The Free State Department of Community Safety, Roads & Transport (FSDCSRT) has the monumental task of managing and maintaining 6602km of paved roads in the Free State province of South Africa. The department plays a pivotal role in ensuring transportation safety and efficiency, with roads being vital conduits for economic, tourism, and agricultural flows.

Before the iPAVe’s integration, the FSDCSRT primarily relied on outdated manual data collection methods that permitted comprehensive network evaluations only once every three years, which relied heavily on subjective methods of assessing the condition of the roads. Such infrequent assessments led to data becoming obsolete swiftly, resulting in ineffective maintenance prioritisation strategies and potential financial inefficiencies.

The introduction of the iPAVe system in 2017 was a total game-changer. It facilitated annual assessments of the entire network, enabling the department to closely monitor road deterioration rates and ensure the most timely and effective maintenance interventions. With an impressive capability of delivering 100 data points per lane kilometer, the iPAVe drastically outperformed the former system that provided significantly less data, allowing for far superior accuracy in detecting areas in need of attention. This has resulted in a significant increase in the number of kilometers that can be rehabilitated within the same budget, as well as a decrease in unnecessary over-expenditure, due to over or underestimating maintenance needs.

The iPAVe’s comprehensive data collection and analysis capabilities have revolutionized the way the FSDCSRT approaches pavement assessment and road management, with over 42,000kms collected to date. The future appears promising, with the department committed to continuing to leverage the iPAVe’s potential, to ensure the Free State’s roads are maintained at their best, facilitating growth and development in the region.

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