Solar power to ease traffic

Penwell Dlamini and Sapa

Penwell Dlamini and Sapa

The Central Energy Fund has announced a massive drive to install solar-powered traffic lights at critical intersections in the main cities to combat traffic turmoil caused by Eskom's power cuts.

Chief executive Mputumi Damane said the urgent intervention would alleviate "the chaos on our roads".

More than 2000 critical traffic intersections have already been identified in Johannesburg alone.

"The project is expected to start at the end of February, but certain components still need to be imported and intersections have to be individually assessed," said Damane.

He said R40million had been committed to the project, but costs were expected to rise to R100million.

Justice Department spokesman Zolile Nqayi said load-shedding had aggravated delays in courts. The department would meet this week and later provide "a full report".

The Western Cape's Energy Risk Management Committee (ERMC) will be reactivated to deal with the latest wave of power cuts to hit the region, the provincial government announced yesterday.

The ERMC was set up two years ago to deal with power cuts when Eskom's Koeberg nuclear station was switched off for months.

It managed to save about 400MW a day, which cut down the need for load-shedding. Provincial authorities now want to reactivate the committee.

Experience had shown that the public expected the government to provide easily accessible, reliable information on the timing of power cuts.

Labour unions want an urgent meeting with Eskom to discuss the power cuts, said the National Union of Metal workers of South Africa.