Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba announced on Tuesday on David O’Sullivan’s show on KAYA FM that the OUTsurance pointsmen project contract will, in fact, be extended, according to Good Things Guy.
This comes after a massive public outcry that followed the August announcement that the pointsmen contract had come to an end.
Mashaba explained that the contract will be extended for a further six months, and will thereafter be taken out on a tender.
He also highlighted the reasoning for letting a free contract expire, despite it being of benefit to the city.
“But imagine that we are getting a free service and not paying for it and then for some reason, there are some officials who either deliberately, or through lack of competence, just let that contract expire?” he said on the show.
The City of Johannesburg (COJ) terminated the Traffic Freeflow (TTF) and OUTsurance project for provision of pointsmen services in the Johannesburg area after 13 years of operation.
According to the COJ’s MMC for Public Safety Michael Sun, the decision came after the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) upgraded its function and appointed an additional 180 traffic wardens, who will be deployed in various traffic hot spots to ensure that traffic continues to be managed efficiently.
“This process is part of the JMPD’s legislative and core mandate to ensure a free traffic flow while ensuring driver, passenger and pedestrian safety,” he said.
In a statement released by OUTsurance after the contract termination announcement, the company said they, “were deeply disappointed”.
The person who first approached the city with the proposal to supply privately sponsored traffic pointsmen and the founder of TFF, Colleen Bekker, said, “It’s a very sad day for me personally, for our staff, for our 36 sponsors and in particular the motorists of Johannesburg, who have come to depend on the service the pointsmen have offered in getting them through heavy traffic every morning and afternoon for the past 13 years.”
According to the statement, OUTsurance has remained the anchor sponsor of the project since its inception, and to date has invested more than R190 million for the provision of this free service in Johannesburg alone, with a current contribution in excess of R20 million per annum.
The project employed 186 pointsmen who collectively serviced all Metro police jurisdictions, including the CBD, Fourways, Sandton, Randburg, Midrand and Soweto. All pointsmen were trained by the Metro police and serve as official reserve traffic wardens.