Border officials desperate for umbrellas

2013-12-18 15:39
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Komatipoort - Officials at the Lebombo border post near Komatipoort have asked for umbrellas to protect them from the scorching summer sun and thunderstorms this festive season.

Chief executive of the Maputo Corridor Logistics Initiative (MCLI), Barbara Mommen, said the Lebombo border post is approaching the busiest time of the year, keeping officials out in the elements for long periods of time.

“The border authorities face some challenges at a border post with infrastructure which is woefully inadequate to deal with the volumes, and officials often have to work in either pouring rain or scorching heat,” said Mommen.

She said the Border Control Operational Co-ordinating Committee (BCOCC) had asked MCLI to see they could source umbrellas for inspection staff to alleviate the problem.  

Mommen said officials need seven large stand alone umbrellas and 12 smaller ones.

She said companies willing to donate umbrellas would get good exposure if they branded the umbrellas.

It is not the first time police officers in Lebombo complaining about the scorching sun.

In 2008 Constable Isaac Tebele was spotted working at the pedestrian crossing while wearing a pair of shorts instead of the standard issue police trousers because of the heat.

He had taken his police uniform trousers, cut off the legs and sewed in hems to make shorts.

Tebele wasted no time in asking the then provincial police commissioner Rex Machabi who visiting the border with various director generals to supply border police with shorts instead of trousers.

He said border police sometimes had to work in temperatures above 45°C, making it difficult for them to perform their duties.

He added that there weren't even awnings at the border posts to protect the officers from the blazing sun.

He said he was glad that Machabi and the director generals, who were sweating heavily after walking around the border post, had experienced the heat.

Within a year, border officials were given formal permission to wear shorts.

Read more on:    polokwane  |  weather
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