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Department of Transport ready to suspend 40 traffic officers.

Article by: Dumisane Dube

The Department of Transport in the Eastern Cape has served traffic officers who participated in an illegal strike with a letter stating that they should explain to the department why they don’t deserve to be suspended without pay.

Traffic officers were revolting against the introduction of the 24hr shift that was recently introduced by the department.

It was reported that the department and workers failed to reach an agreement during discussions over the change in shifts. The department of transport argued that most accidents happen overnight and in the early hours of the morning.

“It was a proposal from the department as informed by the stats that a lot of accidents happen when our officers are not on duty in the wee hours of the morning or late at night,” said Transport Department Spokesperson, Unathi Binqose.

About 40 traffic officials have not been on duty for a period of two months.

Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) Provincial Chairperson, Loyiso Mdingi, says the union is trying by all means to fight for the officers not to be dismissed or suspended without pay.

“Initially, the employer wanted to dismiss all of them and then I engaged on behalf of the organization not to do that, looking at the number first… We agreed that they are not going to dismiss, but they are going to suspend,” said Mdingi.

Mdingi says the department said they will be suspending the officers for six months, however the Union is against the suspension duration.

Departments spokesperson Binqose, says the suspension of the traffic officers is in process, pending an appeal against the decision.

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