Municipality denies motorcycles standing idle

2015-04-30 14:34

THE Municipality has vehemently denied accusations by the Democratic Alliance (DA) that 19 motorcycles, which cost tax payers over R2 million, have been sitting idle for five years to date.

Municipal spokesperson, Mthubanzi Mniki, said the motorcycles which were purchased in 2010 to add to the traffic department capabilities during the FIFA World Cup were in fact being used as escorts during major government and municipal events.

“We do not have a reconciled record of how many times and where the bikes have been used for now, but it is a fact that they are being used from time to time when the circumstances demand,” said Mniki.

Last week PE Express reported on allegations by DA spokesperson for Safety and Security in the Metro, Gustav Rautenbach, that the R2 million bikes were standing idle at the Sidwell Traffic Roadworthy Centre and other garages on the premises.

Rautenbach said when he visited the Sidwell Traffic Roadworthy Centre he was startled to discover that the bikes were covered in dust with some having expired licences.

“This is a total waste of money and resources. It is totally unacceptable and the DA will be addressing this as a matter of urgency.

“When these motorcycles were purchased in 2010 at a cost of more than R2 million, it was definitely not for the sole use of escorting high profile guests. It was to beef up the safety and law and order on our roads. As I stated, a Motorcycle Unit must be established with immediate effect to improve visible traffic law enforcement,” Rautenbach said.

Mniki said they could not comment on the accusations by Rautenbach, but the municipality had the situation under control.

According to Rautenbach the question that NMBM should rather answer truthfully to residents is why the bikes are not in use daily for safety and law and order purposes.

Mniki said, “We have challenges that we continue to deal with and come up with solutions. It might take time with dissatisfaction from employees from time to time, but together we manage to deal with and come up with solutions. The situation is under control, with challenges in critical areas that we are dealing with decisively, working with the affected parties.”

Rautenbach, however, said he was of the opinion that operations at the Traffic Department was not business as usual saying, “The more than 200 vacant posts and the fact that senior posts are not filled permanently, leaving senior officials in acting positions contribute to the breakdown of discipline. The back pay issue should have been dealt with expediently by the Metro and this would not have come down to traffic officials using the IRONMAN event as leverage to press this issue through. All these factors begs the question of how this department can be said to be operating efficiently.”

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