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Mayor asked to step in

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Mayor asked to step in

by Nurene Jassiem
11 Jul 2006
Peoples Post
Peoples Post

Under-Resourcing was one of the most serious issues which came to the fore as tensions within the city's Law Enforcement ranks reached boiling point last week.

About 200 uniformed officials from the Metro Police, City of Cape Town Traffic Services and Law Enforcement gathered outside the mayor's offices at the Civic Centre to lodge their grievances on Tuesday, 4 July.

After arriving without an appointment, ten representatives from the various appointments were granted a meeting with Mayor Helen Zille.
Zille said she was "very interested" to hear what the representatives had to say.

Topping the officials' agenda was the issue of restructuring within the city.

"The issue of restructuring was never communicated to us in an official manner, although the issue has been coming on for quite some time now," Archie Hearne from the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) told Zille.

Among those affected are 20 officers at the Hillstar Traffic Department, who have been charged with misconduct after refusing to move to Ottery.

South Peninsula Traffic Department is also affected, as they only have seven traffic officers working in their department at present, as opposed to 70 officers seven years ago, according traffic officials.
"This means that where we used to be able to respond very quickly to complaints, it now takes us much longer and people complain about our slow service," said a traffic officer, who wished to remain anonymous.

"Directors and commanders ordered members to be moved to the N2 following the spate of stone-throwing incidents, and specialised teams had to be disbanded without any formal communication," one of the members present said.

Another issue raised was that the bargaining council has not met since November last year and as a result there has been no communication between the trade unions and the employers.

In response to this, Zille said, "I am very concerned about people being shuffled around willy-nilly.

"In the absence of a bargaining council, I am prepared to meet with you".

Zille has agreed to hold a follow-up meeting with the officials within the next two weeks.

"This is the first time these issues have been brought to my attention and I will have to investigate the matters further," said Zille.

At the time of going to press, Metro Police management was still in a meeting and could not give comment as to which matters were being investigated.

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