Sukulwenkosi Dube Plumtree Correspondent
PLUMTREE Municipality has completed a $68,000 project of installing the first ever traffic lights in the border town. The move is aimed at improving the safety of motorists and pedestrians.
It will, however, spell doom for learner drivers who flock to the town to acquire driving licences, taking advantage of the lack of robots.
Town Secretary Davis Dumezweni Luthe said initially the council had budgeted $90,000 for the project.
The project commenced in July and the council has installed traffic lights at two intersections along the Bulawayo-Plumtree Border Highway.
Another set of traffic lights was installed at an intersection within the town.
Luthe said the project was completed on Wednesday.
“Council is now working on signage to ensure that they meet set standards. The main purpose of installing these traffic lights is to protect motorists and pedestrians and also to spruce up the image of the town,” he said.
“Our roads become busy especially during the festive season as we’re a border town. During the course of the year we also have a number of people frequently travelling to and from Botswana. This way we’ll be able to reduce occurrence of accidents.”
He said the traffic lights would also serve as a learning aid for school pupils within and around Plumtree, most of whom talked about them in lessons as abstract structures.
Council, Luthe said, was in the process of putting up parking bays within the town in order to regulate traffic.
Luthe said the Plumtree Town area was small and it became heavily congested during the festive holidays as diasporians passed through the town while on their way to visit their families.
The local authority engaged Samela Investment Company to fit the traffic lights.
Residents hailed the move by the council and pointed out the need for more development within the town.
“We expect the town to develop further and the traffic lights are a sign that the council is doing something. However, more needs to be done because most areas in the town do not have street lights. People often get attacked by robbers at night,” said a local vendor, Simangele Ndlovu.
She said vendors needed proper working spaces to operate from. Ndlovu said there was also a need for a market within the town and an industrial area where people could get their supplies.