The truth about month-end traffic is just the beginning

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MAHIKENG– City central mess! Month-end stock for retailers is chaos on the roads, with all shelves waiting to be filled with consignments. It is not much of a surprise that traffic along this one way four-lane road into the heart of Mahikeng is so congested. However, this is the mecca of all activity for rural, township and urban residents here. There is so much to do about this, I ran out of breath to taking this picture. This is without question a new road for me. 

Falling bags, slipping shoes, tripping kids and lots of people. Month-end traffic is always hectic, and over indulgent. One thing for sure is that the narrative behind this is under discussed in the public space. Here’s the thing: month-end salaries are paid and the volume of activity that this encourages stretches beyond our imagination. How limited is the policy scope for fluent urban development and trade activity? In SA, the logistics of cities and towns stings right below the belt by limiting how economic activity germinates. Behind retailers, restaurants, kiosks and shops is a heavy hand of traffic tumbling through the townscape.

Not only does a bottle of good whiskey seem more affordable, it is much greater delight in the social fabric underlying the feel of the time: everyone is excited– risks feel much more diminished.

From social media posts about all the deductions, to the essays about saving, and the fuel price announcements that usually take place toward the end of the month. This is usually for private sector employees; while public sector employees stimulate spending in the middle of the month. As such, local economies roll keep momentum through this tumbling rhythm in which the stimulus package comes directly from household spending. A town like Mahikeng, is not deeply diversified; while a city like Polokwane has vast diversities in terms of economic activity, commerce and employment.

As such, local economies roll keep momentum through this tumbling rhythm in which the stimulus package comes directly from household spending.

Most notably is the fact that there is more activity than ever. From cars dumped into their bumper to bumper state; to pedestrians crowded and carrying more baggage than the plastic bags they bear. It is a huge stimulus in many towns and cities alike: one of the few moments when both are confronted with a similar narrative. Large scale burger orders, more patties en-route just to secure appropriate levels of safety stock across all markets in the sector. Retailers filling up their shelves, marketers purchasing more billboard and other advertorial spaces, construction activity pushing more trucks down the pipeline leading toward the end of the month. It is a monthly festival challenging the average pedestrian, driver, and public transportation user alike.

Here is the big challenge: urban centers, shopping malls and transport facilities have to manage this major shift in traffic volumes—especially over the weekend.

Here is the big challenge: urban centers, shopping malls and transport facilities have to manage this major shift in traffic volumes—especially over the weekend. Furthermore, law enforcement incentives are much higher at this point than during other periods because the salary notification can drastically change individual behavior. Not only does a bottle of good whiskey seem more affordable, it is much greater delight in the social fabric underlying the feel of the time: everyone is excited– risks feel much more diminished. With such a spirit in the air, it goes without saying that more delightfull environments are needed, while safety and roadway use practices need to be retained too. This puts a strange arm on law enforcement: do they want to spoil a party they too enjoy? Here again we enter the realm of empathy and contracts of trust which require complex confrontations and personal trade-offs. What a time to be alive.

Oh well, the blend of policies, standards and guidelines that need to support this effort are hybrid narratives: deeply exciting times for emerging cities and towns—more for you this year.


Thank you. 

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