Traffic needs more staff

2015-07-23 11:16
Msunduzi Mayor Chris Ndlela at the media launch of the State of the City address yesterday.

Msunduzi Mayor Chris Ndlela at the media launch of the State of the City address yesterday. (Kailene Pillay)

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THE Msunduzi mayor has revealed it will take almost three years before the city’s traffic department’s capacity can adequately police the number of roads users in the city.

Speaking in the build-up to the State of the City address (Soca), Msunduzi Mayor Chris Ndlela said the city’s traffic department is currently understaffed.

“We are in the process of increasing capacity but it will take two to three years before we can safely say we have enough traffic officers to control Msunduzi’s roads,” said Ndlela.

He said the municipality understands the frustrations road users experience on a daily basis “with trucks, speeding and reckless drivers and drag racing”.

Ndlela said the understaffing issues certainly do not mean drivers should be reckless.

“Roadsters have completed their driver’s and learner’s licence tests, which qualified them to drive. The same rules that applied then, apply now.

“The rules did not change, so drivers and even pedestrians need to be responsible,” said Ndlela.

Another challenge facing the municipality is the call centre used by residents to call in and report faults in regards to their tariffs and essential municipal services.

The mayor said he acknowledges the call centre’s challenges and will be looking into them.

“We understand that there are isolated incidents where people’s calls go unanswered or they have bad experiences with the call centre.

We will be bringing in an outside objective eye to look at improving the call centre,” said Ndlela.

However, despite the city’s problems, Ndlela said there are many good things the city has achieved.

He beamed at the fact that over R1 billion has been saved in the city’s reserves.

“I am very proud of the healthy reserves we have managed to secure in a short space of time. I am also very proud of our municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi, who was recently awarded the Best Performing Municipal Manager award at the Premier’s excellence awards,” he said.

In his build up to the Soca, Ndlela also urged residents to use the #SOCA and #AskChrisN on social media.

“We want to hear the good and the bad. We want to know what do you love about the city and what you think needs improvement.

“Some of the suggestions and remarks will even be used in the Soca at month-end,” the mayor added. He said the hashtags have been advertised for a month now but “not enough voices” have responded. The Soca will take place on July 31 at the Royal Agricultural Showgrounds.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  traffic

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