Meet pmb’s dancing traffic cop, who brings a smile to motorists’ faces as he keeps the cars moving

2008-11-16 00:00

Is that a dancer you see commanding attention in the middle of an intersection as you drive past? An orchestra conductor, perhaps? No, it’s reserve municipal traffic officer Mthokozisi Ngubane doing what he loves best.

Born and raised in Sobantu, Ngubane has attracted a following of grateful and admiring motorists in the short time since he started directing traffic earlier this year. The Msunduzi Municipality’s Public Safety Department has a pile of appreciative letters to prove it. One letter read: “… this gentleman has performed his duties so well and with such enthusiasm that I feel compelled to compliment him in writing. … He is like a breath of fresh air in the daily frustration of traffic congestion and really is a shining example of excellence.”

Ngubane is known to some city residents as “Mr New England” because he was traffic pointsman at the New England Road off-ramp during the roadworks there. Since traffic lights were installed, he has moved to Peter Brown Road at the N3 off-ramp in the mornings and can be found on Chota Motala Road near the N3 in the evenings.

When not directing traffic, Ngubane works as a volunteer on the support staff of Sobantu Secondary School helping with extra-curricular activities and administration. He matriculated at the school in 1999.

“He is very passionate, committed and dedicated in everything he does. Many people have praised his work as a traffic officer because he is on his spot, on time, come rain or shine,” said the principal of the school, H. S. Majozi. “We have come to know traffic officers as mean, but he has changed that perception…”

Known as “Mho”, Ngubane said he had wanted to be a traffic officer since he was young. “I really enjoy controlling traffic and helping people, both pedestrians and motorists. I enjoy wearing the uniform and I love to be dressed properly and neatly, like a gentleman.

“A man stopped one day and gave me a tip to say thank you for what I do. Others have bought me lunch. Some of the schoolchildren who walk along Chota Motala Road have told me they see me as a role model, and that makes me proud.”

Ngubane’s dream is to become a full-time municipal traffic officer. In pursuit of this goal, he took adult education classes to improve his matric and recently obtained a Code 10 driver’s licence. A spokesman for the Public Safety Department said “He is employed as a reserve traffic officer and when a vacancy arises he can apply.”

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