Traffic pointsmen to be back

Johannesburg – Traffic pointsmen will soon be back to help manage traffic congestion after the City of Joburg extended their contract.

  City manager Ndivhoniswani Lukhwareni said the city was engaging the service provider of the OUTsurance pointsmen to extend the contract on a month-to-month basis for a period not exceeding six months.

  “We apologise to our residents for the miscommunication regarding this issue and any inconvenience and frustration caused by traffic congestion in their absence,” Lukhwareni said.

  Many residents, motorists and the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) had been complaining about unmanned traffic intersections in an around the city since the pointsmen were withdrawn when the OUTsurance contract expired.

   Outa said the city agreed to extend the Traffic Freeflow contract until a permanent solution is found. The awarding of the tender to the winning bidder took a long time, with the process expiring on August 31.

  OUTsurance could not operate without a contract extension, as that would be contravention of the law.

  Traffic Freeflow operated traffic flow in Joburg and Tshwane municipalities, a free service with the cost borne by OUTsurance.

  Lukhwareni said JMPD would increase its efforts while the contract extension is being finalised. “This is nearing the finalisation of its competitive bidding process to appoint private partners to enhance traffic management services in the city. The City prides itself on being transparent and accountable. We are committed to informing the public once this process is completed and request patience during this process. We work within a highly regulated environment and even though this is a free service to the city, due process in terms of our supply chain management policy must be followed,” he said.

  Outa’s regional manager Michael Holenstein said they received complaints from motorists and their supporters and urged to take up this issue with the city.

  “The city engaged with us. Although this issue shouldn’t have occurred, we appreciate the way in which the city embraced our requests and acted upon them. This sets a good example for how the municipality should act on issues raised by residents, and in a timely fashion,” Holenstein said.

  He added that his organization would engage the city regarding broken traffic lights and the state of the roads.

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