Only 538 Traffic Officers in Eastern Cape

The latest data provided by the Department of Transport has revealed that just 538 traffic officers are employed to patrol the entire province’s provincial road network.

According to the Transport MEC, Weziwe Tikana, the current ratio of law enforcement officers is one official for every 1553 licensed road users. When one looks at the ratio of patrol vehicles, it skyrockets to one for every 2882 licensed road users.

Even more concerning is that the last intake of new staff was in the 2016/17 financial year, where just five new officers were appointed.

73 interns were then recruited in the 2017/18 (43) and 2018/19 (30) financial years, and no appointments have been made this financial year.

Tikana also revealed the Department allocated R49,7 million for traffic control measures this financial year.

This includes:

  • Fuel for government vehicles – R10 million
  • Uniform – R6,9 million
  • Calibration – R3 million
  • Summons books – R1 million
  • Rental of cars – R28,8 million

“It is no wonder that the total fatalities in the Eastern Cape increased by 3,8% from 2017 to 2018, claiming 1666 lives last year.

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It is clear MEC Tikana’s intervention strategy has failed to reduce the number of fatalities on the roads, because she does not have the necessary staff to do the work, said Marshall von Buchenroder the DA Eastern Cape Shadow Minister for Transport.

“The Democratic Alliance calls on traffic law enforcement agencies to act and implement effective law enforcement strategies and programmes.

These agencies must increase visibility in order to curb the number of road fatalities, which would mean appointing more staff and deploying more vehicles on provincial roads.

The DA is also calling for MEC Tikana to keep her promise from 2018 and implement 24-hour traffic law enforcement with immediate effect, and not delay it any further.

The people of the Eastern Cape deserve better,” added von Buchenroder.