Lungile Dube
2 minute read
5 Mar 2019
9:53 am

Not enough man power to police M2 closure protocol

Lungile Dube

Metro police say that the number of intersections exceeded available human resources.

M2 highway. Picture: Michel Bega

Metro police have revealed that it would be intensifying its force at Anderson Street in Johannesburg after a woman was robbed while waiting in traffic on the first day of the closure of the M2 Bridge, reports Alex News.

The bridge was officially completely closed on the morning of February 28, to allow rehabilitation processes to commence. This has led to massive traffic congestion on most intersections that lead to the inner city.

The woman who was robbed was waiting in traffic during peak hour after work on February 28 when a gunman allegedly approached her window and robbed her of her cellphone before a taxi driver intervened.

ALSO READ: Joburg’s M2 bridge to close due to ‘structural defects’

According to the victim’s husband, who wished to remain anonymous, motorists driving into the city on peak hours have become targets for crime. “People must just be aware that the minute they drive through town in peak hour traffic they are targets for as long as the highways are closed,” he said.

A case was opened at the Linden Police Station.

The spokesperson for Metro police, Wayne Minnaar, said they were working in conjunction with the private sector and banks to provide security in the absence of adequate officers and pointsmen to relieve traffic congestion caused by the closure of the M2 bridge.

Minnaar said the Metro police department has deployed 70 traffic wardens and 80 officers in most intersections. Furthermore, the four major banks in the city have provided 10 security guards each to disperse at various intersections.

However, he said the number of intersections exceeded the number of human resources available.

“We are working with banks and businesses in the city to provide security guards to perform security functions. We will deploy more officers who are performing visible policing in some areas of the city to Anderson Street, especially on peak hours,” said Minnaar.

Minnaar urged motorists to use the N3 or N1 to Sandton and Rosebank and the N12 and N1 for those travelling to Roodepoort. He said the most problematic intersections and roads included Anderson Street, Village Road, and Marshall Street.

The city of Johannesburg recently announced it was completing a competitive bidding process to appoint a new private partner to enhance traffic management services in the city. The new partner is expected to be revealed in the next few months. While the rehabilitation of the M2 bridge is anticipated to be complete by October, Minnaar said the appointment of the new partner may bring relief to the current traffic congestion as it has prospects of producing more manpower.

“We are looking forward to the appointment. It will help a lot in supplementing the shortage that we are currently experiencing during the closure of the bridge,” added Minnaar.

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