Women officers show their grit

An all-women team of traffic officers held a roadblock at Jakes Gerwel Drive, Vanguard.    PHOTO: SIPHESIHLE NOTWABAZA
An all-women team of traffic officers held a roadblock at Jakes Gerwel Drive, Vanguard. PHOTO: SIPHESIHLE NOTWABAZA

A team of women traffic officers representing various metros ended Women’s Month on a high note when they held an all-female roadblock on Tuesday 27 August.

The aim of the roadblock at Jakes Gerwel Drive, opposite Vangate Mall, was to increase visibility and to send the message that female officers are as capable as their male counterparts. The officers’ “sisters” from the department of law enforcement and the police were also in attendance.

According to Maxime Bezuidenhout, spokesperson for the traffic department, the roadblock showcases the contribution women make to the uninformed services and the safety and security of residents.

Pamela Mkosi, an assistant chief traffic officer for the southern and western areas, says they chose the spot because it is one of the busiest roads in the area.

“The roadblock was held in response to complaints about inconsiderate motorists, people using their phones while driving and the use of unroadworthy vehicles,” she says.

The officers also checked motorists’ licences and if they had outstanding warrants.

Mkosi agrees women officers’ contribution to keeping our roads safe is invaluable.

“We want to show members of the public that we, as women, play a significant role in reducing carnage on our roads,” she says.

She hopes that exercises like these will encourage young girls to join the traffic service after they have finished school.

“Not because they feel they have to, but because they see it as a valid career choice where they can excel.”

On the day, traffic officials arrested one motorist for driving under the influence of alcohol, impounded four taxis, two cellphones and arrested five motorists for outstanding warrants.

“Officers further executed 41 warrants to the value of R86 200,” reads a statement released by the City of Cape Town.

The officers also caught a motorist who was driving a car with an illegal number plate.

Some motorists welcomed the roadblock and said they would like it to happen more often.

Robin De Kock, a businessman from Blaauwberg, said the roadblock was a good thing and a good show of force.

“I have a lot of faith in female traffic cops. I know with them, it (the roadblock) will be done properly. People are lawless on the roads, especially taxi drivers, so this helps a lot,” he said.

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