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Thursday / 20 June 2024
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MTN will now keep the traffic lights on in Soweto

The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) has entered into a Service Level Agreement with MTN South Africa to provide backup power for traffic lights around the network operator’s base stations in Soweto during load-shedding.

During power interruptions, MTN’s base stations will supply electricity to the lights to alleviate traffic buildup in the area which will be particularly helpful at key intersections that lead to the freeway.

“To ensure efficient traffic flow at peak times, we need smooth-flowing traffic corridors that lead traffic onto highways, keeping people moving to their destinations with ease and efficiency,” said Acting JRA CEO Zweli Nyati.

“By ensuring a stable power supply to traffic lights, we aim to enhance road safety, minimise congestion, and create a more seamless driving and transportation experience for all road users.”

MTN will also create a “traffic corridor” from the Flora Clinic, along 14th Avenue, towards the N1 highway, which leads to outside the MTN head office, to ensure smooth movement onto and off the N1 highway at the 14th Avenue intersection, MyBroadband reports.

Those traffic lights will be powered by electricity generated from the MTN campus.

“The JRA must be commended for their commitment in ensuring swift progress in implementing this project,” said MTN South Africa CEO Charles Molapisi.

“This is an excellent example of what can be achieved when the private and public sectors work together to positively impact the lives of citizens.”

MTN Base Station that will supply power to Soweto traffic lights

Private enterprise to the rescue

The recent partnership between the JRA and MTN marks the second coalition between the roads agency and a private company to keep traffic lights on during load-shedding at important intersections.

In July, the JRA teamed up with Vodacom to ensure signals along major intersections around the Vodacom headquarters in Midrand, Gauteng remains operational by leveraging electricity sourced from the network operator’s adjacent buildings to power traffic lights when the grid is down.

This will assist in easing load-shedding-induced traffic congestion at the 13th Road and Vodacom Boulevard as well as Lever Road and Vodacom Boulevard crossings, and provide relief for between 2,000 and 3,000 vehicles traveling in both directions during morning and afternoon peak hours.

“JRA is inundated with requests from corporates, schools, and even NGOs across Johannesburg willing to partner with the entity in keeping the City’s traffic lights on and most essentially, keeping traffic flowing during load-shedding,” said Joburg MMC for Transport, Councillor Kenny Kunene, at the time.

“This joining of hands today with Vodacom as well as the 39 other Service Level Agreements that are in progress, is a positive boost to growing our local economy as less time in congested traffic means more productive time at the office, the factory, and the school.”

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