Traffic cops protest

2010-01-30 00:00

MSUNDUZI Municipality traffic officers yesterday downed tools to protest against the unroadworthy state of their official vehicles.

The traffic officers parked more than 20 of their official cars in front of the city hall’s main entrance, and opened up the car bonnets to show the state of the car’s mechanicals.

Some of the cars had oil leaks and others had worn-out bodies and broken back windows. It was estimated that some of the vehicles are at least 15 years old.

The officers vowed to discontinue working with the fleet of vehicles. They said that by Monday they expect the council to have taken meaningful steps to address the problem — and should it fail, the officers will dump the cars at the city hall.

“I will not continue to drive this car because it is a skorokoro,”said one official. “I drive a decent car at home so I will not come to work to drive a skorokoro. If they do not make a firm decision to buy new cars by Monday, I will take this car and dump it at the municipality or on the vehicle impound.”

Thulani Nzimande, a shop steward of the municipal traffic officers, said they have had a problem with their car fleet for at least the past three years. “This is an ongoing, problem which was supposed to have been sorted out by 2007, and it is still carrying on. Our members are very concerned about the condition of the cars. One of our members was involved in an accident after his car experienced brake failure and he collided with another official from the traffic department.”

He said the municipality must take decisive action by Monday, or they will dump the vehicles and work on foot because “that is safer”.

The municipality’s acting public safety manager confirmed that traffic officials had been demonstrating.

“The vehicles are quite old and council is in the process of replacing them. However, these things take time,” he said.

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