Traffic Lights Up for 'Adoption'
As load shedding causes havoc on roads and municipalities battle to secure backup power for traffic lights due to rampant theft, businesses are "adopting" them during power cuts, reports TimesLive. Several Mpumalanga businesses plan to connect robots to generators or solar equipment in Mbombela and White River, while Johannesburg plans to pilot 50 "adopted" intersections by June. In Mpumalanga, Kruger Lowveld Chamber of Business and Tourism (KLCBT) COO Linda Grimbeek said two traffic lights have been "adopted" and are functioning, while another 15 businesses have expressed interest. "A shopping centre or business next to a busy intersection will, with the oversight of the city's traffic and electrical department, and at the cost of the business, connect the traffic lights to their generator or solar system. As soon as the centre switches to the alternative energy, the traffic lights automatically connect to the alternative power," said Grimbeek.
Public Sector Union Vows to Intensify Strike
The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU) has vowed to intensify the public service workers' strike which began last Monday and caused chaos at public institutions across the country, reports News24. NEHAWU says the strike follows collapsed wage negotiations, continuous implementation of austerity measures, and the aggressive attack on collective bargaining by the government. Thousands downed tools to force the government to agree to demands for a 10% wage hike. The government has offered 4.7% but the union has rejected the offer, calling it an insult. The week-long protests have been marred by violence and intimidation.
Air Pollution Fear in Cape Town Community
Kuils River residents are fearful their health and safety will once again be threatened by the actions of big business and the government following the resumption of activity at a steel mill near the Cape Town suburb, reports News24. The Cape Town Iron & Steel Company (CISCO) recently reopened a steel mill that stood idle from 2019 until last month. The previous owners, Turkish brothers Dagestan, Hakan, and Oguzhan Turanli, abandoned the business three years ago. An independent study commissioned by residents during the mill's operations under previous owners found "exposure to heavy metals". Residents claim that it left behind tons of toxic furnace dust, which the company had neglected to contain and store in compliance with environmental regulations. Residents believe the toxic dust could be one of the causes of the medical ailments they have experienced in recent years, including headaches, nosebleeds, sinus issues, and insomnia.