Load shedding brings SA traffic to a standstill

Picture: Thinkstock

Picture: Thinkstock

With traffic lights affected by load shedding and vandalism, road traffic around the country has come to a painful halt for motorists.

Twitter continues to be flooded with complaints of increased traffic around the country, with areas like Sandton and Fourways in Johannesburg being affected the worst.

Eskom announced earlier today that Stage 3 in loadshedding had been implemented in certain areas around the country due to high demand.

Stage 3 loadshedding was believed to double the frequency of Stage 2 – meaning that loadshedding could take place up to three times a day, for two hours.

With load shedding implemented and traffic coming to a stand-still in Johannesburg, queries have arisen regarding the solar-powered traffic lights promised by the City of Joburg.

UPDATE: Find your load shedding schedules here

In 2011 it was announced that the Joburg Roads Agency (JRA) would spend more than R11 million to modernise traffic lights by installing solar-powered signals and remote monitoring systems at “critical intersections” in the city.

JRA managing director Skhumbuzo Macozoma said in a statement that 200 Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) sites and 20 solar panels had been installed at various intersections in the city last year.

The UPS was said to store energy produced by solar panels, which is then used to power traffic lights during power outages.

Macozoma confirmed that all 200 UPS sites at traffic lights had been vandalised or stolen by August.

“The replacement cost of these is R11 million,” he said, adding that two solar panels (costing R450 000 each) had been completely removed and not replaced.

“Approximately 70 traffic signals are damaged per month through motor vehicle accidents costing R5.24 million per year (2013/14 cost). These then require construction teams to effect the repairs, which is generally a much longer and costlier process than repairing faulty components,” he said.

Macozoma added that copper theft had increased to such an extent that the City is losing on average R10 million a year to this scourge alone.

SA Twitter users continue to complain about traffic around the country:




Eskom implements Stage 3 load shedding



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