Striking traffic cops angry about ‘scab’ colleagues

2012-11-23 00:00

THE provincial Transport Department will ensure traffic officers are available in Msunduzi Municipality should there be an urgent need for their services.

Mayor Chris Ndlela told the executive committee sitting yesterday that he had approached MEC Willies Mchunu for assistance amid the chaos in the municipal traffic department.

After embarking on an illegal strike due to lack of tools of trade, yesterday officers were seen issuing fines to motorists in Mayor’s Walk in the morning.

They were also spotted using municipal vehicles, despite a court interdict that ordered them to return municipal vehicles, guns and other municipal belongings in their possession.

When the sheriff of the court visited the officers on Wednesday, they drove off with the council vehicles and only one was cornered into surrendering his firearm and the car.

Msunduzi municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi said it was wrong for officers to pretend to be working because as far as they know they are on strike.

“What has changed now, because we have not addressed their concerns and neither has the Mayor Chris Ndlela.

“They stopped working because they didn’t have tools of the trade, so what tools are they using now?” he asked.

Nkosi said officers were showing the public that the issue they had with the tools of their trade was just a farce.

At yesterday’s Exco meeting, the mayor told committee members that there would be police visibility in the city.

“We are on top of the situation. I have spoken to the provincial Transport MEC Mchunu to extend RTI services to the city during this period,” he said.

Mchunu’s spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane confirmed the request by the mayor.

However, he urged the union and municipal management to resolve their differences before motorists take advantage of the situation and start breaking the rules of the road.

South African Municipal Workers’ Union local secretary, Sifiso Mabizela, said their provincial legal team were still studying the interdict.

He said their legal team should be filing their response at court today.

“Those traffic officers who were spotted working were just scab labourers, who want to act innocent to management,” he said.

Mabizela was adamant that the interdict was invalid as it was not signed by any of the disgruntled officers.

“The sheriff just left the interdict hanging on the main entrance of the traffic department,” he said.

• thobani.ngqulunga@witness.co.za

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