Studs stop shining

2016-04-19 06:00
 Over R140 000 worth of solar studs are to be replaced after they were found to be defective.  PHOTO: nicole mccain

Over R140 000 worth of solar studs are to be replaced after they were found to be defective. PHOTO: nicole mccain

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Over 800 solar studs along Ou Kaapse Weg, Noordhoek Main Road and Main Road in Glencairn, are defective.

This comes after the studs were installed as a pilot project in June last year (“Sun powers night driving”, People’s Post, 3 August).

The road studs charge from the sun during the day and light up automatically in the dark, explains Brett Herron, Mayco member for transport.

The same standard as is already used in ordinary retro-reflective studs, was used for the solar studs.

As per the last count issued by the City of Cape Town, 391 red studs, 233 red and white combination studs and 195 white studs are defective.

White studs are placed on broken lines where overtaking is permitted, and red studs are placed on solid lines where no overtaking is allowed.

Studs cost approximately R170 each, bringing the value of the faulty studs to just under R140 000.

Ward councillor Felicity Purchase funded the pilot project last year from ward allocation budget. It cost R180 000.

The supplier of the solar-powered cat’s eyes must still determine the cause of the malfunctioning of some of the units, Herron says.

“The very purpose of the pilot project along the roads in the south is to determine the durability and functioning of the solar-powered road studs, as well as their suitability to our road conditions in terms of traffic volume and the weather in general.

Solar-powered road studs will not function to their full capacity when there has been insufficient sunlight for a number of days,” he says.

At this stage the City does not know what is causing some of the solar-powered road studs to malfunction and has been in contact with the supplier of the units, Herron says.

“We will replace the defective solar-powered road studs when we have ascertained what has caused the malfunctioning. We have never removed the standard retro-reflective studs along Ou Kaapse Weg and these should still assist road users in poor light conditions,” he says.

The supplier will be liable for the cost of the repairs, Herron says. An anticipated replacement date has not yet been set.

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