For the safety of all road users in the Eastern Cape, the Department of Transport must resolve the overtime strike by provincial traffic officers over their pay once and for all. This province recorded the highest number of road fatalities in the country during the last festive season, an increase of 22 %, from 227 in 2014/15 to 278 in 2015/16.
High visibility and tough law enforcement, 24-hours a day, is vital to curb the high road death toll in the Eastern Cape. Bad practices developed by drivers due to lack of law enforcement have become habitual.
A well-run government would never allow a dispute to deteriorate to the point where officials who are mandated to oversee the safety of citizens, have to go on strike to get their hard-earned overtime payments.
The overtime issue has been an ongoing since January last year but Transport MEC Weziwe Tikana and her department have displayed little political will to bring finality to address this.
I have submitted legislature questions to MEC Tikana for details of the outstanding amounts of overtime as well as what remedial steps her department have planned to lighten the workload of the traffic officials. These plans should include:
- Filling of all funded vacancies in the department;
- Appointment of additional traffic officers according to the organogram of the department; and
- Creating satellite offices in addition to the current stations, to alleviate the long distances officers have to drive in order to do patrolling.
A DA provincial government would ensure high visibility patrolling to limit death on our roads. — Marshall von Buchenroder MPL, Shadow MEC for Transport