Tag Archives: traffic gridlock

Desensitization – cops 1 robbers 0

There was a shooting (cops 1 and robbers 0) on Rivonia Road by Morningside this afternoon. As a result this main arterial that crosses Sandton from South to North was closed until well into the evening.

As the company I work for is situated on the busiest intersection on Rivonia Road, it took me 30 minutes to travel less than 500m. Traffic backed up into level 2 of the parking garage.

The intersection with Rivonia was gridlocked as cars kept on moving even after the red light came on, effectively blocking those of us trying to get across.

I must say that surprisingly, there was very little hooting and road rage.

Traffic police were nowhere to be seen. No surprise there! No gesticulating traffic cops shouting at motorists this time. No slapstick in the afternoon.

We’ve become desensitized in this city – listening to the news on the radio about the shooting and being caught in the resultant traffic chaos – all  could think of was that I needed to get across the intersection to fill up with petrol so that I didn’t have to leave home earlier in the morning to do so.


Slap-stick in the morning

I got caught up in a traffic jam of note at 7h00 this morning. Two sets of consecutive traffic lights were out at 2 intersections in the Johannesburg CBD, the route I decided to take to get onto the M1 to Sandton.

Traffic gridlocked at these 2 intersections. It just wasn’t moving. Minibus taxis pushed in. Busses were stuck in the middle of the intersections. Cars edged forward, each motorist to their own devices – me included.

On the intersection of Booysens and Webb, traffic police half-heartedly  and unsuccessfully tried to get some control – but they surely need some assertiveness training because no one paid them any attention. They eventually just stood on the pavement dejectedly watching the scene unfold – I felt sorry for them actually .

At the intersection of Booysens and Trump, a traffic policeman was directing traffic more or less successfully, but I waited 10 minutes before he gave us right of way.

At the onramp to the M1 another traffic policeman resorted to shouting, hands on either side of his head, furiously gesticulating at motorists who were trying to cut in front of the cars already waiting to get onto the freeway.

“Wat n’ gedoente!”

Please believe me when I say that I laughed so hard I got to work in a good mood. Because it was really funny. Like something out of Schuster movie!

Note 1: "Wat n' gendoente" is an Afrikaans expression and means "What a mess/fuss/hullabaloo."
Note 2: Leon Schuster is a popular South African filmmaker, comedian and actor who specialises in slap-stick humour and candid camera type movies.