Msunduzi plans a 24/7 traffic officer shift

2017-06-15 13:45
A vehicle on Chatterton Road on Friday night.

A vehicle on Chatterton Road on Friday night. (Ian Carbutt)

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The Msunduzi Municipality will respond to critical and emergency traffic situations while they work on starting a fully-fledged 24-hour service.

Currently the City has no 24-hour traffic service but municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha has made assurances that there are traffic officers on standby.

Mafumbatha claimed a recent report in The Witness, stating that there was only one traffic officer for the city after 8 pm, was innacurate.

A source who works in the department told The Witness that there was only one municipal traffic officer on duty at night.

“Indeed the traffic services in Msunduzi Municipality is highly short-staffed like many other cities of our size. The vacancy rates have been increasing year in and year out,” Mafumbatha said.

She said the City would be rolling out plans this year to address the issue of filling critical posts in the traffic police unit.

She said the City was also in the process of acquiring the tools of trade in order to roll out the 24/7 shift in due course.

“A council resolution was passed to ensure 24-hours traffic service is implemented in the jurisdiction of the municipality,” she said, promising that a strategic plan was in place for the rest of the year.

The City, and its traffic services, are extremely concerned about the number of lives lost in road collisions.

Mafumbatha urged motorists to exercise proper driving behaviour, adding that the municipality was working closely with the Provincial Road Traffic Inspectorate, South African Police Services, provincial Community Safety and Liaison and the provincial Road Safety Department of the Department of Transport.

The Witness reported this week on an explosive report compiled by community services business unit general manager Boniwe Zulu, which revealed that the department was severely understaffed and the budget allocation was not enough to manage a city as large as Pietermaritzburg.

Despite the turmoil in the traffic department the city plans on cutting spending on Public Safety, under which traffic officers fall, from R248 075 000 to R81 557 000.

The issues highlighted by the report include:

Inability to fill critical management posts;

High vacancy rate at operational level

Insufficient resources to cater for all zones;

Lack of 100% radio communication coverage;

Highly politicised labour force;

Absenteeism;

Old/obsolete tools of trade.

The report further slammed Msunduzi’s human resources policies, which it says are ineffective in dealing with work attendance and employment screening.

If you need traffic services in an emergency situation, please call the Emergency Control Centre that operates 24-hours on 033 392 2945.
Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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