Joburg tackles traffic woes: 200 pointsmen deployed to navigate traffic light malfunctions

The department said the deployment of traffic pointsmen was a measure aimed at reducing traffic disruptions.

Faced with a surge in malfunctioning traffic lights, worsened by the ever-increasing load shedding, the City of Johannesburg’s Department of Public Safety has been compelled to seek a viable solution to address the disruptions in urban traffic flow.

As such, it has appointed 200 traffic pointsmen to join the Johannesburg Metro Police Department.

The pointsmen were officially introduced on 18 January 2024. The event was led by Dr Mgcini Tshwaku, Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Public Safety, and senior officials of JMPD and Public Safety Department.

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The department said the deployment of traffic pointsmen was a measure aimed at reducing traffic disruptions.

Fair and honest

It explained that the selection process for the pointsmen was very strict to make sure it was fair and honest. Some of the chosen individuals had experience managing traffic at intersections, even though they didn’t have official training.

They also went through thorough criminal background checks and screenings to make sure they were suitable for the job.

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“We received over 100,000 applications, a reflection of the profound unemployment issues facing our city and country. It broke my heart that we could not take in more applicants due to budget constraints, but we hope to be able to increase the numbers at a later stage” said the MMC.


“Under the JMPD’s guidance, we assure you that there will be strict oversight and accountability for our pointsmen’s work. Our focus is to ensure that traffic control in the city is in the hands of trained, authorised professionals from this point forward,” he added.

The MMC emphasised the need for the recently appointed pointsmen to wholeheartedly accept their responsibilities with dedication and integrity.

The pointsmen, set to commence their duties on Monday 22 January, will be responsible for serving all seven regions of the city of Johannesburg.

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