JMPD deploys officers to remove unofficial pointsmen directing traffic during load-shedding

Dorah Mafokeng, the traffic officer who went viral after a video was published showing her awesome traffic directing skills. File photo.
Dorah Mafokeng, the traffic officer who went viral after a video was published showing her awesome traffic directing skills. File photo.
Image: TimesLIVE

The Johannesburg metro police department (JMPD) has warned civilians against directing traffic during blackouts, saying officers have been deployed to remove unofficial pointsmen at various intersections.

This week videos of homeless people directing traffic during load-shedding were circulated on social media by motorists. 

Speaking on Power 98.7, JMPD spokesperson Xolani Fihla said the department was removing unofficial pointsmen directing traffic at intersections where robots were not working. 

He said unofficial pointsmen directing traffic posed a risk, adding the city will not be liable should anything go wrong. 

“This is a challenge we’ve been facing in the city,” said Fihla.

“If an accident should occur at an intersection where these people are controlling traffic, the city won’t be liable for damages or injuries incurred. It further endangers the lives of these individuals as they may be run over by vehicles.”

Civilians who direct traffic during blackouts will not be arrested but will be removed by officers. 

Tshwane metro police spokesperson Isaac Mahamba told 702 recently there was a plan to train members of the community to assist in controlling traffic during blackouts. 

“We are looking into the issue of training members of the community who might be interested but you will understand that there is a challenge of money,” said Mahamba. 

“For training to take place, there are funds that need to be allocated and we are looking into that.”

He said civilians could not direct traffic without training, saying those who were unqualified should refrain from doing so. 

More load-shedding on the cards

Eskom implemented stage 4 load-shedding on Tuesday morning, with stage 5 expected to be implemented from 4pm to 5am.

It said over the course of the week, 14 generators were expected to return to service, helping to ease pressure on the power system.

“Eskom cautions the public, however, that there is a high degree of uncertainty associated with this and these changes will only be possible if the units return to service as planned.

“Changes in stages of load-shedding can therefore occur at short notice due to the inherent unreliability of the coal power station fleet.”

Eskom procured an additional 50-million litres of diesel on January 6.

“This fuel will be used sparingly to manage the pumped storage dam levels and to limit load-shedding during the day. These emergency generators contribute 5,700MW of capacity.”


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