Traffic officers obey court interdict

2012-11-27 00:00

STRIKING Msunduzi traffic officers have handed over their firearms, municipal vehicles and other tools of trade back to their employer.

This after the officers went of an illegal strike last week, blocking entry into their Washington Road headquarters.

The strike was aimed at forcing the municipality to replace the current fleet of traffic vehicles, which are said to be about 20 years old.

The fleet was not properly serviced.

The Witness reported last week that the municipality was granted a court order interdicting 36 traffic officials from continuing with “any activity” calculated to further the ends of the “unlawful” and “unprotected” strike.

The police were sent to disarm the officers but only managed to disarm one.

Text messages were sent to the rest of the officers to hand back municipal property.

They complied and handed all the tools of trade back on Friday.

One of the striking officers said: “Instead of buying us vehicles so we can go back to work, the municipality is wasting money on court interdicts”.

Municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi said the traffic department should be back in operation this week.

“We are trying to bring the situation to normal. We want to bring the traffic department back to operation, especially the administrative staff where people pay their fines and so on,” said Nkosi.

Samwu regional secretary Nokubonga Dinga said there had been no communication between them and the management at the municipality since the strike began.

“The municipal manager is simply acting alone and does not communicate with us,” she said.

The strike has led to complaints from residents of the northern suburbs, who say travelling nine kilometres in rush hour takes them up to 65 minutes without traffic control.

On traffic, Nkosi said they had requested the Road Traffic Inspectorate to be more visible to deal with traffic violations.

But he declined to reveal their plans for pointsmen — who control traffic in rush hour — for fear that they might be intimidated by the striking officers.

• thamsanqam@witness.co.za

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