Angry EMPD trainees accuse City of Ekhuruleni of delaying training to cut costs

The 18-month course was supposed to conclude by December last year and officials are planning to extend it even further.

FILE: An Ekurhuleni Metro Police car. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Frustrated and angry metro police trainees have accused the City of Ekhuruleni of deliberately delaying their training in order to cut costs.

However, the academy has blamed COVID-19 restrictions for the hold up.

The 18-month course was supposed to conclude by December last year and officials are planning to extend it even further.

Those who spoke to Eyewitness News were breadwinners, single mothers and fathers who had lost everything already as they try to make ends meet with their meagre R3,400 monthly allowance.

The head of the training academy, Ndumiso Gcwabe, has denied claims that the city is stalling to save money.

Eyewitness News spoke to a group of Ekhuruleni Metropolitan Police Department (EMPD) trainees on the condition that their identity was hidden out for fear of dismissal.

"It’s not easy for me to start over now. I’m holding on that it will end but it’s demoralising me, demotivating me,” said an EMPD trainee who was a breadwinner and single mother. She lost both her parents recently and battled to look after her children and siblings with her R3,400 allowance.

She was just one of many who signed up for training to become an Ekhuruleni metro cop.

She was supposed to qualify by Decemer last year, but there's no guarantee that she or her peers would graduate any time soon.

“I feel betrayed. Sometimes we go to the academy and there won’t be anything for us to do. They are wasting time, there are no manuals. How do you not have enough manuals?” she asked.

Meanwhile, a father of two said that his wife had left him, angry that he still could not look after his family: "I’m angry and bitter now and it will affect me doing my job in future."

The chief of the traning academy, Gcwabe, has denied the city was stalling and he blamed COVID-19 restrictions for the interruption in training.

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