In August there was a major outcry by citizens of Johannesburg over the possible cancellation of the contract which allows Outsurance’s traffic pointsmen to help relieve congestion on Jozi’s streets.
Mayor Herman Mashaba allayed any fears by announcing the contract has been extended by six months during which a tender process will be finalised.
It’s been over four months already since the announcement, but we can at least live in hope that things will get sorted out in the next two months or that sanity will prevail and that the current contract will be further extended if the process isn’t finalised in the given period so there’s no nasty surprises awaiting Jozi motorists.
The reason I’m bringing this up is that during these times when load shedding is the order of the day again we are once more realising that our problems will be way worse if it wasn’t for these pointsmen – or I should say people because they are not limited to men.
Let’s face it, when there’s no power we can survive by eating cold food, washing in luke warm water and not watching television.
But when traffic lights are down, things become really tricky.
Children can then be late for school, their parents late for work, we can miss important meetings and business opportunities which could all result in trouble.
The trouble of a financial kind.
The kind of thing we ironically need to keep the lights on. Now, when you are affected by traffic congestion caused by load shedding, the apology from the Eskom fool over the radio news offers little consolation.
But what does help in times of need are those dedicated pointspeople rushing to hot spots.
They get their on those feeble little scooters and have no protection from obnoxious drivers as they brave the hordes of vehicles descending on the intersection.
At last count there were 186 of them employed by Traffic Freeflow, who runs the project of which Outsurance is the anchor sponsor among three dozen others.
We salute them and can only hope their lights stay switched on during the days of darkness.
Like one Twitter user said during the uncertain time: “Please Please Please can Herman @HermanMashaba keep the Outsurance people. It is the only thing that works in Jo’burg traffic.”
I rest my case.
In this week’s edition, Road Test Editor Mark Jones brings all the lowdown on the all-new Porsche 911 from the Los Angeles Auto Show, but his privileges didn’t stop there as he also took the new 718 Cayman GTS and 718 Boxster GTS for a spin around a wet track in California.