FACT CHECK: Did The South African Transportation Minister Say, ‘Potholes Produce Very Good Drivers’?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims South African Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said that “potholes produce very good drivers.”

Verdict: False

There is no evidence that Mbalula made such a remark. The claim stems from an article on a satirical website.

Fact Check:

The Facebook post features an image of Mbalula along with an alleged quote of his that reads, “It is not important to know how many potholes we have in this country. What is important is the fact that these potholes produce very good drivers.”

There is no record of the South African minister making such a statement. No such quote appears on his website or on his verified Twitter account. There are likewise no credible news reports that attribute the statement to the minister.

Mbalula addressed the claim on Twitter, calling it “fake news.”

The transportation minister said in a March 12 tweet that roads “at the provincial and regional level require attention” and called on government officials to work with the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) to improve the country’s infrastructure.

The viral image stems from an article published by the website Clownsinsuits.com, which identifies itself as a “satirical newspaper and website.” The article in question includes text at the bottom that reads, “If it looks like satire and it sounds like satire, then it’s probably satire.” The Facebook image includes no such disclaimer.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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