DA DEMANDS IMMEDIATE PAYMENT OF OVERTIME TO PROVINCIAL OFFICERS

With regard to the recent statements from the provincial department of transport regarding overtime pay to traffic officials, the DA in the Provincial Legislature will push for immediate payment of overtime to provincial traffic officers.

The provincial department has admitted in writing in a report to the portfolio committee on Transport, that there is enough funding to pay overtime. Therefore there should be no delay in expediting payment to traffic officers.

With the festive season upon us and an influx of visitors to the province for this period, the lack of sustained visibility and law enforcement by traffic officers is vital.

If overtime is not paid to these officers then there will be no after – hour law enforcement. This will lead to greater accident carnage on our roads.

In terms of the half-year budget report given to the portfolio committee of Transport, the programme on Transport Regulation and Traffic Management has currently only spent 41% of its annual budget of R292, 63 million. Based on this, it is clear that there will be a projected under-expenditure of R6.8 million when the financial year ends in March 2014.

Furthermore, the MEC for Transport Honourable Thandiswa Marawu stated in a press conference yesterday (Thursday, 14 November) that Operation Kwenale was in place and the province was geared up for the Festive season.

How is this possible if full 24 hour traffic policing without the payment of requisite overtime is currently not being paid?

The MEC and her department must stop deluding themselves and urgently arrange payment of overtime to our valued traffic officers over the Festive season.

During the Sitting of the Provincial Legislature next week, I will put forward a motion that this money be immediately budgeted and allocated for overtime hours and to ensure commensurate traffic vehicles and equipment is allocated for traffic law enforcement over the festive season.

The MEC, the head of department and the chief financial officer must be charged for negligence should there be an increase in the loss of life during the festive season, as a result of a lack of law enforcement officers on the roads.