Airport road cast in dark while e-toll gantries burn bright

Dr Neil Campbell MPL

Spokesperson on Roads and Transport

The lights on the R24 airport road running from Eastgate to OR Tambo International are again not working, a problem that has persisted for more than two weeks this time. Last year these lights were not on for an inordinate amount of time and they are once again off. When questioned about this last year Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Ismail Vadi stated that the lights were out due to his department’s non-payment of services to the Ekurhuleni metro.

The Ekurhuleni Metro later dismissed this explanation stating that they had not disconnected the R24 lights due to non-payment, rather they claimed cable theft could be the problem. This was never confirmed or denied.It is a sad fact that the masts on which the lights are mounted are very close to the road and no barrier fencing or bollards are in place which has resulted in numerous accidents and several fatalities.

Last week I wrote to the MEC requesting an explanation for the fact that the lights are not working, and was told by two officials in the Department that they would investigate. As a precaution, enquires were made to see if Ekurhuleni had cut the power – they had not. While the R24 has no lights the N12, which partially shares a common path with the R24, is brightly lit, as is the non-functional overhead e-toll gantry.

After the initial response promising action I have heard nothing and this dangerous stretch of road remains hazardously unlit. The MEC must immediately sort out the lighting problems on the R24 once and for all to avoid further accidents and casualties, as has recently been the case.

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