Tuesday, March 28, 2006

WILD THOUGHT Stuck in traffic jam the other day, a wild thought crossed my mind after several questions rang in my head; why do people choose to travel always at the same time in the morning and in the evening? What can be done to ease the traffic congestion? Well, I’m damn sure that traffic departments allover the country have given this a thought, if we are to justify taxpayers’ money year in year out. If not, hard luck to pedestrians and motorists alike. Back to my wild thought. Hillbrow is not the perfect tourist destination for South Africa. In fact we might want to forget for a moment that it is part of our Johannesburg. An important fact however is that Hillbrow never stops happening (sic). It is a 24-hour 365-days part of town. 24 is an interesting figure, but forget about 24 cans in a case of beer. What if we chose to make this part of Africa a working nation? Suppose we decided to introduce day and night shifts in all sectors; public and private? Work for at least 20 hours a day. Let’s talk Company X, which has 240 employees. 120 of them to work during the day 8am to 5pm and knock off. Then the other half to start at 8pm till 5 in the morning; wild thought, ne? Implications: we will have the work done eventually, but more to this. 240 tired legs, hands and brains at the end of day will definitely not increase productions. 120 Fresh legs, hands and brains for the night shift in my view will increase the outcome at the end of a financial year and eventually boost our GDP. This way, we can afford to ease the perennial problem of unemployment in this country. More crucial is that the traffic congestion will ease up, both during mornings and evenings. Cleaners who tidy up our city at night and a night construction work going on along M1 North triggered this thought again A similar idea to all sectors would help the country move to insurmountable heights economically. After all, we have nightclubs, which run the whole night through, why not night working places? If only whatever happens in Hillbrow for 24 hours is legal, regulated and abides by tax requirements, it would provide a brilliant model to my wild thought. But something needs to be done about easing the traffic congestions. Just a thought, wild one though!


Celeste said...
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Celeste said...
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Celeste said...

Hey Maina

Great and crazy points you've made here. I think the idea is brilliant for the profitability and productivity of companies and for the traffic problem Johannesburg is experiencing.

But think a little deeper. What if there is a family where the father works the night shift and the mother works the day shift. When will their children have the opportunity to see them together as a family, and when will the parents have quality time to be alone together. I think a lot of quality family life might become lost through this idea. What do you think?

Regarding the traffic problem of Johannesburg. Have you every seen those Outsurance traffic directors? I come from the Fourways area, and instead of having to stop and start at the traffic lights, these directors are trained to direct the traffic. It helps with the congestion and makes the traffic flow better. If only Johannesburg had more of these traffic helpers. It creates jobs and it helps us get to our jobs quicker.

And maybe even one day they'll have the crazy idea of creating time blocks to go to work. For instance the Fourways area must leave at 7:30 and come back home at 16:30. The Illovo area must leave for work at 8:00 and head home at 17:00. Imagine that!

Lesley Emanuel said...

Hi Maina

Thank all goodnesses you found blogging and blogging found you!
I’m really enjoying your weblog.

Maybe this will interest you. Have a look at the article 'kulula.com campaigns for daylight savings time', September 2, 2005, by Audrey d' Angelo. It’s at

And you can sign the petition at their website (as opposed to signing an email petition – no more said!) Just go to


Pascalia said...

I think what you suggest is a good idea. It may be better for people to start work very early in the morning say 5am (I wouldnt want to be included in this group)and then the others can start work at 8am. But knowing people they will get used to this routine and will be waiting for those who start work at 8.