Cops need tools to do their job

2012-11-16 00:00

MSUNDUZI Traffic officers said that they will only return to work when their grievances, which were raised with Mayor Chris Ndlela yesterday, have been addressed.

They said Ndlela, who met with South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) representatives on their behalf, had asked for a report listing their grievances.

On Wednesday, the officers protested at their Washington Road headquarters, allegedly spraying tear gas to empty the offices of the administration workers.

Yesterday, they continued blockading the main entrance to their headquarters, ensuring that no cars were able to enter. SA Police Service officers monitored them, but did not take action.

Congress of South African Trade Unions local secretary Zimasile Giyama said Samwu met the mayor because the officers want political intervention to have their concerns addressed.

This is because they have no faith in the municipal administration.

Giyama said the mayor requested that their grievances be written down in order that they be dealt with.

Their main complaint is that their management has not provided them with the tools needed to do their jobs, including roadworthy vehicles and breathalyser kits.

The Witness reported yesterday that many of the traffic patrol cars are in various states of disrepair, with the officers saying they are unsafe to drive.

In addition, they complained that reservists were not paid on time and that some officers with criminal records were de-registered, while others continued to be employed.

An officer took The Witness for a ride in one of the “better cars”. Among the faults noted on the vehicle were that its manually-operated front windows would not open; the hooter was not working; the speedometer was non-functional; there was a rattling sound when the brakes were applied; there was difficulty selecting gears; and the petrol pump was leaking.

“Now you understand what we have to work with everyday,” said an officer, who cannot be named as he is not authorised to speak to the media.

The officers alleged that traffic managers had ordered that the cars be removed from the main parking area into the municipal pound to hide them from the public. This was allegedly done on Wednesday night.

Municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi said he was asked to leave the meeting Samwu held with the mayor.

Asked how the municipality was dealing with the matter, he said: “We take them as people on an illegal, un-procedural and unprotected strike.

“We are not going to be emotional, but we are going to follow the law in sorting this matter out.”

Nkosi said the officers had never formally raised their grievances with their line managers or the municipal manager, leaving them to read about it in The Witness.

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