Despite staff shortages, KZN officials confident of meeting safety demands

One of the most affected entities is the Road Traffic Inspectorate, which has more than 200 vacant positions and cannot operate a 24-hour shift system.

FILE: KwaZulu-Natal Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC Bheki Ntuli. Picture: @KZNTransport/Twitter.

DURBAN - Authorities in KwaZulu-Natal are confident they will meet safety demands in the province during the festive season despite severe staff shortages.

One of the most affected entities is the Road Traffic Inspectorate, which has more than 200 vacant positions and cannot operate a 24-hour shift system.

KZN Transport and Community Safety MEC, Bheki Ntuli, on Tuesday said that they would rely on social partners, including community policing forums, but not everyone was sold on these plans.

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Ntuli made an address at a roadblock at the Mariannhill Toll Plaza, one of Durban’s busiest entry points.

The MEC said that the main priority was ensuring safety for everyone who would be visiting the province during the festive season.

“We’ll be also staging roadblocks in the rural areas to ensure safety for all our visitors and residents,” Ntuli said.

But how will this be achieved given the severe staff shortages?

Ntuli said: “Knowing that we are understaffed, we’ll fill in critical posts due to budgetary constraints but also implement joint operations with social partners to ensure visibility throughout the province.”

The Democratic Alliance (DA) was sceptical about the MEC’s plans. The party said relying on structures such as community policing forums without giving them financial resources could not go far.

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