13 February 2018 Read: 62
Limpopo’s Department of Transport said it will import traffic officers from other provinces to ease the workload the province is facing and in anticipation of the Easter holidays in March. Both the Department of Transport, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the government expressed concern about the escalating number of traffic officials arrested for corruption. Limpopo leads in arrested officials with 93 so far.
The MEC for transport, Makoma Makhurupetsi, said the arrest of traffic officials in her department resulted in staff shortages and the morale of other employees has been affected, but they are working around the clock to remedy the situation. She said the department has suspended 40 traffic officers so far and they have sent about 250 new recruits to train as traffic officers.
“Due to the shortage of staff that we are experiencing, workshops are held to encourage our workers to work harder. Those who are not found guilty by the courts will be accepted again and those who will be found guilty will be subjected to disciplinary measures. We initially spoke to employees about the reputation of bribes the department has made for itself and that they were to be dealt with,” said Makhurupetsi.
Furthermore, Makhurupetsi stated that because the traffic officers who were sent for training will not come back soon, they are engaging with the Treasury so they may acquire more funds to hire more traffic officers. “We are working with the national department so traffic officers from the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) will be deployed on major roads during the upcoming Easter holidays where traffic volumes are expected to rise.”
She said that those members of staff who were not arrested or suspended, are given time “to heal” as some were affected emotionally upon hearing that their colleagues were arrested. She added the arrests are not going to stop yet, as complaints are still mounting. “The department will ensure that there are sufficient traffic officers during the Easter holidays and thereafter.” On Tuesday RTMC officials were working on the Lydenburg road.
Spokesperson for the Hawks, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, said the NPA is meeting with government in Limpopo to address the issue of the escalating arrests of government officials on corruption charges. Mulaudzi said nationally Limpopo is the number one province where public servants are arrested and service delivery is affected when they had to go to court.
Limpopo government spokesperson, Phuti Seloba, could not be reached for comment.