Four years on, and still no bulletproof vests for EC traffic officers

Four years on, and still no bulletproof vests for EC traffic officers

Not one single bulletproof vest has been made available to Eastern Cape traffic officers in the last three financial years, according to Transport MEC Xolile Nqatha.

Eastern Cape traffic officers have tragically lost their lives in hails of bullets in recent years, and one must ask whether this could have been prevented had they been issued bulletproof vests.

Let us not forget that these officers, who have families and dependents, put theirs on the line to protect the lives of those of us who use the roads.

If we want law and order on our roads, traffic officers must feel confident they have the necessary protection when dealing with dangerous suspects. This measure will go some way to stopping the carnage on our roads.

We want fully motivated officers who are not holding back out of fear because they might be the next victim.

The DA has repeatedly called on the Department of Transport to procure bulletproof vests for their traffic officers.

Every time this matter was raised with the former Transport MEC, Weziwe Tikana Gothiwe, we were told that the Department was in the process of procuring these vests.

A recent response from the MEC Nqatha revealed that the Department spent R5,3 million on uniforms, which does not include bulletproof vests.

See response

It is essential for all law enforcement officials to have bulletproof vests.

We are very concerned about the safety of our traffic officials and calls on the MEC to prioritise the procurement of bulletproof vests for our traffic officers.

The DA will continue to fight for our officers and demand that they are treated fairly and given the necessary tools of the trade to do their work correctly.