Where does disobedience to the law start and stop?

2014-01-27 00:00

Traffic officers behaving badly

Hayfields resident Hayden Hutton asks where disobedience to the law starts and stops.

He wrote: “As a resident of Hayfields I find it particularly frustrating having to put up with the number of trucks that park in areas where they block the roads, especially at the bottom of Hesketh Drive and New England Road.

“Even more frustrating is the number of times that I have complained to the police officers drinking coffee at the Spar across the road from where this is taking place, right under their noses, and the lacklustre response I have received when asking them to sort out the issue.”

Hutton said that on Wednesday while driving down Victoria Road things were put into perspective for him. He saw two traffic officers parked directly under a no-stopping sign while buying lunch at a local curry shop.

“Clearly if the local traffic officers have no respect for the law then it is unlikely that we will create a culture of law abidance in this city and even in this country for that matter,” he said.

Contacted for a comment, KZN Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) spokesperson Zinhle Mngo­mezulu said yesterday that the officers drinking coffee at the Spar were not from RTI but from the Public Transport Enforcement Unit, that deals with issues such as taxi violence. Their uniforms are similar to those worn by RTI officers, except that the pants are different.

Mngomezulu said the RTI had stopped its officers from going to the all-night stop a while back. The officers had no jurisdiction over the area as control fell under the Msunduzi Municipality and RTI had received numerous complaints that their officers were doing nothing about the situation.

She said their hands were tied, and she expected the same applied to the public transport enforcement unit, who could only inform Msunduzi Municipality of the problem.

Msunduzi spokesperson Brian Zuma said the municipality was aware of the complaints from residents and are trying to deal with the problem holistically; firstly, by recognising that the haulage industry has grown and this posed a serious challenge for Pietermaritzburg, which is on a major transport route, and also at the same time they are working on re-structuring and enhancing the Traffic Department.

On the alleged errant police officers, Zuma said the incident was being looked into, as there were circumstances where traffic officers were allowed to stop in a no-stopping zone.

Refuse charges but no service

A concerned citizen who did not want to be named said that she and fellow tenants at the Truro Plaza were being ripped off by the municipality.

They were being charged R243,21 but had no refuse service at the centre. “I take my refuse and dispose it on my own. What am I being charged for?” she asked.

The municipality responded: “The centre has been allocated a 1,75 m3 bin for common use. Waste management is under the impression that the 1,75 m3 bin at the centre is used by all the tenants. There have been no recent complaints about the refuse collection until now.

“The operations manager visited the centre on Wednesday and it seems as though the 1,75 m3 container allocated to the centre is being used exclusively by a single consumer. The waste management section will arrange a meeting with the centre’s tenants. It must be borne in mind that the centre is a private one and we have no say as to what goes on in the centre, unless they flout the laws. This type of problem can be easily avoided by contacting Waste management on 033 392 5359 or 033 392 5388.”

Refuse charges but no service

A concerned citizen who did not want to be named, said that she and fellow tenants at the Truro Plaza were being ripped off by the municipality.

They were being charged R243.21 but had no refuse service at the centre. “I take my refuse and dispose it on my own. What am I being charged for? she asked.

The municipality responded: “The centre has been allocated a 1.75m3 bin for common use. Waste Management is under the impression that the 1.75m3 at the centre is used by all the tenants. There have been no recent complaints about the refuse collection until now.

“The Operations Manager visited the centre on Wednesday and it seems as though the 1.75m3 container allocated to the centre is being used exclusively by a single consumer. The waste management section will arrange a meeting with the centre’s tenants and they can tell us where they want the container situated so that all of them have access to it.

“It must be borne in mind that the centre is a private one and we have no say as to what goes on in the centre, unless they flout the laws. This type of problem can be easily avoided by contacting Waste Management on: 033-3925359 or 033-3925388.”

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