Traffic signals sabotaged
Johannesburg motorists are faced with a mammoth challenge of driving past the traffic signals that are out of order day in and out. In fact it has now become a norm to see inoperative traffic lights in Jozi and the surrounding townships.
In a snap survey conducted by this newspaper around Soweto, five out of ten robots in one busy main road were not working.
Cheesed off motorists blamed road authorities for neglecting this problem. And most of them agreed that this was becoming a way of life for them.
Media reports suggested that this was aggravated by the recent Eskom’s ping pong power failure and the ongoing industrial action that has seen two thirds of the Johannesburg Roads Agency’s (JRA) workforce who are members South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) downing the tools.
Other reports suggested that the ones that were not part of this industrial action were either intimidated, assaulted using sjamboks.
One employee who wished to remain anonymous told this newspaper that his colleague’s house was petrol bombed and his personal car spray painted for working while his colleagues were on strike.
He also revealed that striking technicians still have keys to traffic light control boxes and have apparently been sabotaging the robots intentionally.
JRA, spokesman, Bertha Peters-Scheepers said, investigations about the whole matter are underway. She also divulged that the road entity’s latest statistics showed that 140 traffic signals out of 2111 intersection across the City are currently out of order due to reasons ranging from faulty cables, no power supply to the junction, or faulty controllers.
“We are also investigating allegations of illegal tampering with traffic signal controllers causing the traffic light to malfunction, which is increasing the number of faulty traffic signals across the City. This is done to alert non-striking technicians to the site for repairs whereupon intimidation takes place. Our investigations into suspected sabotage of traffic signals are ongoing and we cannot divulge further details at this stage”.