Traffic officers down tools

2009-02-23 00:00

Msunduzi Municipality traffic officers downed tools yesterday and refused to go back to work until they were addressed by management.

The traffic officers blocked the entrance to the municipality’s traffic headquarters in Washington Road, denying access to city residents who wanted to pay their fines.

Some of the placards carried by the traffic officers demanded the immediate resignation of the acting public safety manager, Justice Khumalo. The officers alleged that Khumalo is not qualified to be acting in such a high position.

The striking traffic officers said the public safety department is being “run by a mafia”. One of the traffic officers alleged that certain people within the department and outsiders have a say on how the department is run and that the strikers want this to come to an end.

Also on their list of complaints is the poor condition of the vehicles they use. The traffic officers told The Witness that some of the cars could break down at any time.

Employees in other municipal departments such as electricity and waste management have also complained about the state of their vehicles.

Acting municipal manager and deputy municipal manager for community services, Zwe Hulane, whose business unit includes the public safety division, said the matter is being dealt with internally. He declined to comment further “because of the sensitive nature of the issues”.

The Witness learnt that municipal senior management instructed the traffic officers to return to work immediately. The strikers were reportedly reprimanded for their action and told there are proper channels to lodge complaints before resorting to strike action.

A manager said the strikers’ unions can raise their concerns with the municipal management.

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