JRA staff probed over vandalised traffic lights

Close to two thirds of the JRA’s workforce are currently on strike.

FILE: It’s understood the striking technicians still have keys to traffic light control boxes and have apparently been sabotaging the robots intentionally. Picture: Siyabonga Sesant/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) says its investigating whether its own technicians are sabotaging traffic lights in the city as part of an ongoing strike.

Members of the South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) embarked on industrial action last month, and close to two thirds of the JRA's workforce are currently on strike.

There have been numerous incidents of intimidation reported over the past week.

In the past week, working traffic lights technicians have been assaulted using sjamboks, one employee's house has been petrol bombed and personal vehicles spray painted.

It's understood the striking technicians still have keys to traffic light control boxes and have apparently been sabotaging the robots intentionally.

With the skeleton staff afraid to go out on the road and wet weather over the weekend this means many lights in Joburg are out of order today.

The JRA's Bertha Peters-Scheepers says investigations are underway.

"We still investigating in this regard, but there are allegations that it's the JRA's own technicians that are sabotaging the traffic lights."

Extra private security has been hired to protect working staff members.

Click here to interact with EWN's special feature on Joburg's traffic light crisis.