Motorists and commuters travelling in and around the Johannesburg area who have noticed an increase in traffic and the amount of time they are spending in it, are not just imagining things.
Traffic authorities have confirmed that Stage 5 load shedding has seen an increase in the number of vehicles on the road and has also slowed down traffic especially around intersections controlled by traffic lights.
- Advertisement -
Spokesperson for JMPD, Wayne Minnaar, confirmed that the demand for pointsmen has increased, putting a major strain on their resources. “We have been focused on the major intersections at the moment to help keep traffic flowing in the face of stage 5 load shedding which has seen traffic lights out for a significant number of hours, even during peak traffic hours,” he said.
ALSO READ: A list of all traffic lights that are currently out of order in Joburg
Bheki Zondo – a traffic freeflower at OUTsurance – also confirmed that there was a strain on their resources, as they were doing their best to deploy pointsmen to the most critical intersections.
Currently, OUTsurance app users are able to request a pointsman for at an intersection along their route that might be affected by defective traffic lights.
According to OUTsurance, there are two types of pointsmen. Static pointsmen are assigned to specific high-traffic intersections, while mobile pointsmen are dispatched to traffic hot spots at a moment’s notice.
ALSO READ: ‘Don’t expect stage 5 load shedding to end anytime soon’ – Eskom
Zondo confirmed that stage 5 traffic saw an increase in the number of pointsmen requested, creating a strain. “We are committed to alleviate traffic congestions and contribute towards road safety. At present, we are focused on the areas around the city centre, as well as off-ramps and on-ramps. Our guys are out there and we are doing our best to keep Joburg flowing even in the face of Stage 5,” he said.
The return to office
South Africans have been experiencing longer periods of lights out, of up to six hours a day, making it difficult for them to rely on battery backup systems during work hours, forcing them to return to the office for a steady power supply. As a result, the number of cars on Johannesburg roads has increased. Motorists and commuters have been experiencing wait-times of up to two hours in traffic this week, as traffic lights went out across the province.
NOW READ: Remote work isn’t always an option – Here are 3 reasons why
The country has been experiencing stage 6 and stage 5 load shedding since Sunday. Yesterday, Eskom made it clear that deliberate power cuts would continue to be implemented at stage 5, with the possibility of reducing one stage by Thursday.