OUTsurance pointsmen could soon be back on Joburg's roads
The City of Johannesburg says it is currently in talks with the service provider of the OUTsurance traffic pointsmen with the intention of having them back on the city's roads.
However, the contract would be extended on a month-to-month basis for not longer than six months. And this while it finalises supply chain management processes to award a new contract for the pointsmen service.
The announcement by the city follows the withdrawal of the pointsmen service by Traffic Freeflow, the company that provides the OUTsurance pointsmen service, at the beginning of the month.
In its announcement last week, Traffic Freeflow said it may not continue to provide the service in the absence of an extension nor a tender having been awarded to it. The company said it submitted a tender to continue providing the service to the city on November 20, 2018. The company said it was unclear if, or when, the tender would be awarded.
"The company has been operating on extensions granted by the City of Johannesburg since September 1 2018.
"In the absence of an award or further extension to our existing contract A625, we would be in contravention of the National Road Traffic Act if we were to continue providing uninterrupted services," the company said last week.
In a statement on Thursday, the city apologised to residents for the miscommunication regarding the issue of pointsmen and frustration caused by traffic congestion in their absence.
However, the city said besides the OUTsurance pointsmen, the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) deployed on average 300 officers daily to manage traffic covering 55 identified spots and 89 school points.
There were also 150 extra traffic wardens daily to deal with the Johannesburg inner city traffic which has escalated while a portion of the M2 highway is closed due to maintenance.
The city said the JMPD would be increasing its efforts to ease traffic flow while the contract extension was being finalised.
It said it had held a private-public-partnership contract with Traffic Freeflow, which is mainly sponsored by OUTsurance, to provide additional traffic pointsmen alongside the JMPD.
City manager Ndivho Lukhwareni said the city worked within a highly regulated environment, and even though the OUTsurance pointsmen was a free service to the city, due process in terms of the city's supply chain management policy must be followed.
"There can be no doubt that these traffic pointsmen have become a major part of traffic management in the city and are loved by many residents. This is a tradition we wish to see continued," Lukhwareni said.