Mayor Herman Mashaba is new in his job and thus possibly not aware of the various areas where cooperation between SANRAL and his city is taking place to the benefit of its residents. For example, in the Johannesburg metropolitan area over the past three years SANRAL attended to more than 10 000 accidents, provided medical assistance at more than 3 700 crashes and paramedical treatment for over a thousand critically or seriously injured persons.
In addition, assistance was provided in more than 18 000 instances where vehicles broke down. This included the free towing of stranded light and heavy vehicles to safe locations away from the traffic flow.
This is possible because of the development over the past decade of an Intelligent Transport System, which provides the information on which cooperation with local metro police forces is built. It keeps road users informed of traffic conditions, flows and possible hazards. It makes rapid reaction to any incidents on the road possible.
Said Vusi Mona, spokesperson of the South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL): “We and the Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane metro police are working in a cooperative manner from the Intelligent Transport Centre in Midrand where the freeway network is monitored with CCTV, and incidents attended to by a fleet of paramedical, incident management and towing vehicles operated by SANRAL.
“This service is provided at no cost to road users, irrespective of whether they are e-toll paying customers or not. It is thus unfortunate that the mayor attacks the revenue stream (e-tolls) which is paying for these services - not exactly in the cooperative spirit in which we work with officials from his administration.
“Let me reiterate: there is no cooperation on e-tags as the mayor had thought. There is no legal requirement for anybody to have a tag, so monitoring would be a waste of time as well as being illegal.
“We really hope that this cooperation will continue since it is a vital service provided to people in need and to improve road safety. Working together has led to the reduction in the duration of incidents from the time it is detected until when traffic is flowing again – by more than 30%. As a result, all users of the freeway network are benefiting”.
There are many other areas where SANRAL is providing the city with technical engineering assistance. Most important, however, remains the joint objective to manage congestion and implement workable and fundable projects that will ensure that traffic does not come to a complete standstill, a very unfortunate reality within the next 5 to 7 years as the next phases of improvements to the network have stalled due to resistance to e-tolls.
SANRAL believes that all spheres of government should cooperate to prevent this potential disaster which will directly affect the city and provinces economic growth and ability to create jobs. In this regard, SANRAL previously agreed to manage projects on the M1. M2 and M70 on behalf of the Johannesburg Roads Agency for the rehabilitation and upgrading of these road sections.
- We would appreciate an opportunity to engage with Mr. Mashaba and his new MMCs to provide them with essential and factual information regarding the present levels of cooperation between SANRAL and the City of Johannesburg, said Mona.
Issued by Meropa