Shongwe wants traffic law enforcement considered essential services
1 Jun 2011
Mpumalanga Safety, Security and Liaison MEC Vusi Shongwe is calling for traffic law enforcement to be regarded as essential services in order for the provincial government to be able to drastically reduce the number of accidents on the province roads.
Shongwe was speaking during the welcoming of the Traffic Management Chief Directorate from the provincial Public Works and Roads and Transport department to Safety, Security and Liaison.
He said as a law enforcement agency, they needed to be regarded as essential services because traffic management and law enforcement services were required at all times to assist in reducing road carnages. Shongwe said it was a concern that traffic management’s working after hours could only be regarded as overtime while drivers do as they wished on roads around the clock.
“I am going to engage with the senior leadership that has just joined the department and seriously look at innovative ways of working efficiently. It is a concern to me that during weekends and night we normally have a reduced number of traffic officials manning our roads,” said Shongwe.
In terms of the Labour Relations Act, an essential service refers to a service which, if interrupted, would endanger or inconvenience the life or the health of people.
Presently, essential services include the South African Police Service, health, nursing, correctional services, services required for the functioning of the courts and the supply and distribution of water.
It further includes the collection of infectious refuse from medical and veterinary hospitals or practices, computer services provided or supported by National Treasury including the persal, social pensions, hospital and flood control systems as well as services provided by old age homes, children's homes and places of care.
“I do not believe that traffic management officials are not essential, otherwise we will not be able to accomplish the set target of keeping our roads safe. We cannot work with the South African Police Service while traffic officers on the other hand are relaxing because it is a holiday,” said MEC Shongwe.
He said he would engage with other relevant stakeholders in recognising traffic management as essential services.
The alignment of law enforcement agencies into one department was recently announced by Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza.
Shongwe explained that Traffic Management had not been “swallowed” but had correctly been aligned in order for them to be effective in the fight against traffic crimes.
”It is my view that this move will strengthen our capacity and ability as a department to be more effective in dealing with all sorts of crimes. The integration will allow us to ensure safety of our people including the tourists,” said MEC Shongwe.
He added that those who were corrupt should leave immediately because there was no place for them in the department.
“We are inheriting you with the image you have built for yourselves; people respect you for your work. You are also joining a department that is not in the media for the wrong reasons.
“If some of you are corrupt, let them decide today to leave because we do not want people who will tarnish the good image of law enforcement agencies in our province. We do not want corrupt and lazy people, let us work together in eradicating crime and make Mpumalanga a safe and secure province to live in,” said Shongwe.
Speaking on behalf of Traffic Management, Chief Director Mr John Nkuna said his directorate brought men and women who were committed and hard-working.
He added that Shongwe was the sixth MEC to work with and were looking forward to utilise their experience in improving the province’s performance towards reducing road accidents and fighting traffic crimes.
“We are also bringing a lot of experience and we are more than willing to work together in saving lives from the notorious roads. We are prepared to listen, adjust and implement as expected,” concluded Nkuna.
Tel: 013 766 4055
Cell: 082 678 1450
Source: Mpumalanga Provincial Government
Issued by: Mpumalanga Community Safety, Security and Liaison
1 Jun 2011
[ Top ]