Cops without cars for months as around 300 vehicles wait for repairs

2018-11-07 06:03
Police vehicles waiting to be repaired at the Pietermaritzburg police garage. PHOTO: ian carbutt

Police vehicles waiting to be repaired at the Pietermaritzburg police garage. PHOTO: ian carbutt

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AROUND 300 unrepaired police vehicles litter the police garage in Oribi, with some standing idle while waiting months for a simple car service or a small part.

Various police officers across the city have voiced their frustration over the slow service at the garage, which has left some police members without vehicles for over six months.

A drive past the police garage, at Oribi Village near the fire station, shows scores of police branded vans, cars and unmarked vehicles scattered across the yard.

Police officers say many more stand inside the garage, gathering dust while awaiting repair.

Sources in the police also said the billing by the garage was “questionable”.

One city police officer who asked not to be named as he is not authorised to speak to the press, said a police car had gone in for “a basic service”, however, when the bill for the repairs came, it is alleged the service cost was over R20 000.

Another alleged the garage charged just under R90 000 for a car service.

Police sources said the troubles at the garage have spanned years, however, “many [policemen] are scared to talk about it”.

The officer who asked not to be named said several officers, including himself, had taken to using their own money to buy parts and repair their own police vehicles, lest they be without their work cars for months on end.

He said he, and others, had spent thousands of their own money on official work vehicles to get them roadworthy.

He added that some officers were now having to use their private vehicles for official work duties.

“We want to work, but often do not have vehicles to do so. Some of us end up spending most days sitting at the office.”

It has been alleged that a police boat, used for search and rescues by the police, has been waiting for repairs for close to nine months.

Another police officer who asked not to be named, said one of the city police stations had sent a car in for clutch repairs in July this year but it had not “even been looked at”.

The provincial and national police did not reply to queries sent to them in connection with the problems at the Pietermaritzburg police garage. The initial query was sent to them on October 18.

The KZN spokesperson referred The Witness to the national office but by late yesterday no reponse had been received.

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