Solar-powered traffic lights for Joburg

2011-07-21 12:58

Johannesburg - Traffic lights across Johannesburg will be fitted with uninterrupted power supply units to improve mobility for commuters, the Johannesburg Roads Agency said on Thursday.

"The city will be spending more than R11m to modernise traffic lights by installing solar-powered signals and remote monitoring systems at critical intersections," said spokesperson Thulani Makhubela.

The agency said it would install uninterrupted power supply units at main intersections so that when there were power cuts in the area, the traffic lights would continue working as normal.

It said 30% of the city's traffic lights had been fitted with light-emitting diodes which were much brighter than normal globes thus improving visibility.

Theft and vandalism were still a concern for the city with some of the recently upgraded traffic lights being vandalised.

"These crimes are costing the city and ratepayers an additional R14.5m that could have been spent on other measures to improve traffic flows in Johannesburg. The Road Agency is working closely with the Johannesburg metro police department to apprehend the culprits," he said.

Seven technical teams had been located across the city to ensure traffic lights were attended to as soon as they became faulty.

The Road Agency is responsible for 10 000km of road and over 2 000 intersections across the city.

  • Pixie1984 - 2011-07-21 13:06

    Finally, the government is doing something intelligent. *clapclapclapclap*

      Blade - 2011-07-21 13:13

      I don't think it is so intelligent to use solar power for traffic robots.Yes it will be in a crime free country.It will just get stolen and wasting tax payers money.Rather use that money and pay of the SANRAL road works where we now have to pay for using these roads.Maybe it will then be bit cheaper.

      daaivarksetier - 2011-07-21 13:21

      Intelligent? Half the traffic lights never work, and can you imagine what will happen for those the rainy and cloudy 3days, absolutely no traffic lights, but then again we are all getting used to not having traffic lights anyway.

      Michael - 2011-07-21 13:26

      YES I AGREE, by providing growing opportunity for copper thiefs to grow operations by "recycling" newly to be installed solar panels. I am certain some folks will find use for them. At least they wouldn't have to hack into robots to "borrow" electricity for home use.

      mornemaddog - 2011-07-21 13:29

      @Daaivarksetier and blade.... you guys are so stupid.. weve been having solar power traffic lights (the first of its kind in south africa) right her in grassy park, cape town and we never had problems with it since the implementation come rain or shine. There has been no theft based on the way it was installed to make it difficult for thieves.. Solar power is the future

      daaivarksetier - 2011-07-21 13:50

      En wat djy maar tot die rainbow nation uitvind hulle kan daai solar panels install by hulle se huise en power generate, dan sal djy vind daai panels raak missing. Ons het panels op kameras hier en ek weet van daai panels wat al gesteel was.

      Totman - 2011-07-21 14:01

      @mornemaddog. Shuuuuutttt. Don't tell them. It's our secret. They are different from

      BigD - 2011-07-21 16:38

      @daaivark. From what I read they say solar powered with uninterrupted power supplies. That could mean than a solar panel will be put up to charge the UPS if the power is down. I cannot see them putting up enough solar panels at each intersection to run only on solar power. The other problem is that these panels will get stolen.

      Neyven - 2011-07-22 04:04

      I seem to recall that Telkom also used solar panels somewhere and that virtually all these panels are now in Mosambique.

  • Tshepo - 2011-07-21 13:06

    Where do i submit a tender for this?

      Rascal - 2011-07-21 13:26

      Juli-ass already submitted a tender so he sub-contract and steal money for his 16 mil house!! Too late

      daaivarksetier - 2011-07-21 13:27

      Go to the Johannesburg Municipal offices round there, there is a lot. Sleep with someone, or do business casting couch. Or bribe a ANC municipal worker. Or Speak to JZ or Julias Madbucket and make one bribe to them and voila its yours......

      Gomez - 2011-07-21 13:52

      It probably was the idea of whoever got the tender..

      johan - 2011-07-21 14:55


      BigD - 2011-07-21 16:39

      @ tshepo. You have to have BEE and connections in the metro to get this tender

  • Blade - 2011-07-21 13:07

    Watch people will steal the solar panels as well.

      Nicolai - 2011-07-21 13:23

      Took the words right outta my mouth...

      EYESAY - 2011-07-21 13:40

      Nzimande that you? he he

  • VELOCITY - 2011-07-21 13:13

    Within days of installing these high tech marvels from the brain of the white man, our black brothers will be stealing these devices faster than you can say "Homo Erectus"

      Will99 - 2011-07-21 13:18

      You are a legend idiot!!!

      Chewbacca - 2011-07-21 13:47

      Yup, just like they stole all the sim cards out of the new robots they installed a few months ago which contact the central office when they have issues

      Afrocentia - 2011-07-21 15:20

      Velocity you must be somehow related to Don Quixote. You are so much of a clown to the extent that your right-thinking white folks must be embarassed with you. Just to clear your schizophrenic mindset, the technology comes from the Chinese.

      brok3news - 2011-07-21 17:55

      idiot - like all who clicked thumbs up

  • Mike or Mpho - 2011-07-21 13:14

    I wonder when the Road Agency will implement a toll fee for Jhb. Someone has to pay for this, watch this space

      Mike or Mpho - 2011-07-21 13:15

      but on a serious note, well done JRA!

  • Vroom - 2011-07-21 13:16

    How much is this going to cost us in levies or tolls? This is a good initiative that MUST be funded from the municiple budget and not cost the man in the street additional money.

  • Will99 - 2011-07-21 13:17

    There are some streetlights in Pta with these. They should get more and also the traffic lights here. It will be cheaper in the long run.

  • Gary - 2011-07-21 13:18

    smart move..........put a solar powered steal me square on top of each traffic light. Once again you guys have really thought this one through.

      DEVILS SON - 2011-07-21 15:25

      they make great roof tiles for corragated homes

  • nicola - 2011-07-21 13:29

    This is old news. Many traffic lights in Joburg have been running off solar power for a couple of years already.

      Blade - 2011-07-22 08:29

      Just a pity these were not installed on William Nicole Rd

  • thabatao - 2011-07-21 13:30

    Oh wonderful. More solarpanels for the squatter shacks. How nice of the JHB City council. Now they won't steal our solar panels from the radio repeater highsites. Now they don't have to travel so far to steal it. Thank you JHB, you are great. The two way radio and cellphone industry will thank you for this.

      Snoopy88 - 2011-07-21 13:51

      now if I was an erm 'entrepreneur' I'd sell this idea to the city, supply and install these units and then let my contacts in the underworld know exactly where they are so that we can steal them back again and sell them to the city again! Win-win situation all round!

      johan - 2011-07-21 14:57


  • DEVILS SON - 2011-07-21 13:36

    blade the new highways wont mean a thing if the second we hit an offramp we end up stuck due to the next 10 traffic lights being out, its a decent step in the right direction for a change. if people want to steal the equipment, hang them in cages dark ages style, as a deterrant

  • Sean - 2011-07-21 13:39

    Nice one!, finally something to get behind, GO Solar!!!

  • BRAKKENJAN STORMER - 2011-07-21 13:42

    where do i hand in my tender?those bastards whose going to install it,they are the culprit who is going to steel/scrap them.

      johan - 2011-07-21 14:59

      IF YOU ARE PART OF THE REGIME, MAYBE?????????????????

  • Currie_Mafia - 2011-07-21 13:46

    Monday, 01 October 2007 South Africa's first solar-powered traffic lights were switched on in Cape Town at noon on Monday. Located at the intersection of Edna Street and Montagu's Gift Road, south of Ottery, the four pairs of lights draw their power, via batteries, from solar panels on top of poles. While the environmentally-friendly lights will help reduce the city's electricity bill, their main purpose is to keep traffic flowing during power cuts. (Not bad only if you had petrol.)

      mornemaddog - 2011-07-22 11:04

      You can actually say it was installed here in my home town Grassy Park... not south of ottery

  • Snoopy88 - 2011-07-21 13:48

    And security cameras so that the locusts don't steal the solar power units like they did the SIM cards. I need to run for office... I'm sure I could do their job more effectively with my eyes closed!

      Snoopy88 - 2011-07-21 13:56

      PS you don't even have to put up real cameras (or they will get stolen too) - dummies are cheaper and if painted red and mounted high enough they should be a fine deterrant for our sticky-fingered citizens.

  • biskit - 2011-07-21 13:53

    While they at it they can use solar energy for street lights's quite high which makes it difficult to steal but Ja i wouldnt hold my breath ... maybe some barbed wire to keep it safe lol

  • Red Lion - 2011-07-21 14:00

    Watch the wildlife steal the solar panels to power their shacks....eish me i can save some money now!!!!

  • Piet Opperman - 2011-07-21 14:05

    Yawn....were we not going to do this like 3 or 4 years ago?

  • Ann - 2011-07-21 14:10

    About time. This proposal was made a looooooooong time ago. Good luck to the inventors and thank you very much!!

  • Stanley Black - 2011-07-21 14:11

    As a South African this is an issue that I feel is not given the attention it should. It need everyday South Africans to formulate opinions on it and for those opinions to be debated and commented on as a society. is somewhere you can do all that, go check it our submitting and commenting is easy and requires no registration.

      Ken J May - 2011-07-21 23:07

      Are you a screwdriver?

  • Ascendo Tuum - 2011-07-21 14:19

    Yayyy, more things for the poor oppressed masses to steal

  • Sledgedarkwatch - 2011-07-21 15:02

    Oh lovely, something new for our Chimp friends to steal and Plunder - Well done Castor Well done !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Afrocentia - 2011-07-21 15:11

    Daaivark uyisilima ngulube ndini njengoba negama lakho lifakaza. Ungumbandlululi ongasenakho ukushintsha uzaze usizwe wukufa.

  • stevenmfrost - 2011-07-21 15:17

    This is not clear if they will be installing Solar power or UPS or both. It makes no sense installing solar power when there is a grid connection, but installing a UPS makes sense as it will keep the lights powered during grid outages at a fraction of the cost of installing solar power. Solar/Wind power should only ever be considered where there is no municipal power otherwise it is a waste of money

  • DEVILS SON - 2011-07-21 15:17

    See we are not racist, we are just anti stupid

  • Jim - 2011-07-21 15:54

    Solar power (electrical) is very expensive. It would be much cheaper to recharge the batteries from Eskom

  • agneeman - 2011-07-21 16:49

    JRA is good at talk talk talk talk, breakaway after breakaway, meeting after meeting to discuss problems .. show us results us! ... and just who is going to install the solar panels, your buddies again? . Ha!

  • CPII - 2011-07-21 23:09

    Har har har...........f*k...these people are real comedians ROFLMFAO!

  • Brieuse - 2011-07-22 07:00

    why not fix the electricity supply?

  • Kosmonooit - 2011-07-22 08:29

    Main problem with Jhb Roads is maintenance and upkeep: that takes skills and sussed management, both are lacking in the extreme, as we witness the continual decline and deterioration of our roads and traffic management infrastructure, they throw more of our millions away. And please, if all this new kit wont be vandalised and pilfered. Anyway, nice contract for a pal.

  • DeonOlivier - 2011-07-22 10:35

    Jewelius will open a second hand Solar and UPS shop after his cadres have nationalised the traffic lights

  • mornemaddog - 2011-07-22 10:55

    @Totman (lmk)... ok... but tell me are they still behind? Once again the western cape is the frontrunner in implementing new technology.... Why must these people be so negative? Why dont the rather come up with better ideas you ppl just keep nagging... how else do you want the government to ensure the safety of motorists during blackouts? Eish get real!

  • Brad.Kopping - 2011-10-31 13:30

    the criminals are just going to steal the solar panels anyway so wat is the point???????????

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