The George Municipality last week celebrated the return of 15 learner traffic officers who have successfully completed their year-long traffic officer training.
The smartly dressed cadettes were welcomed back by Executive Mayor Alderman Melvin Naik following a show of their marching skills in front of the municipal buildings last Thursday (31 January 2019). “We are extremely proud of these men and women who have come from our own people, and who have all passed with flying colours,” said Naik.
Ald Naik handed over trophies to two wardens who had finished top of their class at the Port Elizabeth Traffic College. Duwain Joseph achieved top marks over all the students for shooting while Lee Laws were the best overall in the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Act exams.
George Traffic Department Manager Donovan Saptoe said the group of eight women and seven men were the largest group of traffic wardens to have been sent for training at one time for many years, and had proved to be an excellent investment. “The wardens we sent to Port Elizabeth and Cape Town have been working for the traffic department for four years in different capacities – initially as contract workers and as permanent traffic wardens since June 2017 – and, so, we had expected them to do well as they already had experience and knowledge.
“Their return as qualified traffic officers is a major boost to the traffic corps that will complement our services in a fast-expanding city and bring the total of permanent traffic officers to 47 (including senior personnel), once they have been appointed. As traffic wardens they were legally limited in their duties, but as traffic officers they will be able to enforce all aspects of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Act as well as local municipal bylaws.”
Mr Saptoe said the city was growing rapidly and with it traffic law enforcement needs. “More officers mean higher visibility, increased enforcement points and better overall service to the community. With plans to expand the Go George bus service and an increasing need for 24-hour traffic law enforcement in a growing city, every quality officer will contribute significantly to our mandate to protect and serve the people of the George municipal area.”
He said the department intentionally walked a road with these students, knowing they were quality people with the character and capability to pass traffic school and bring their skills set home. “We believe in investing in our people so they can live and make a difference in their own communities – from providing traffic and law enforcement services near where they live to being inspiring role models of what is possible with hard work and perseverance. These students are not just employed, they are empowered,” said Mr Saptoe. He thanked and lauded council for supporting the investment to develop its employees and ultimately producing and expanding fleet of quality officers.
Caption: Learner traffic officers strutted their stuff in their brand new officers uniform at a function to welcome them to the George Municipality traffic corps.