City salutes ‘20 plus club’

Louise and Mark Wilkinson, with their Great Dane, Emily.

The City’s safety and security directorate honoured 214 employees with more than 5 500 years of service between them on Tuesday July 19.

The annual long-service awards ceremony paid tribute to employees who have been with the City for 20 years or longer.

They work in the traffic services, disaster risk management, metro police, fire and rescue service, 107 public emergency contact centre, and law enforcement departments. Two employees have each been in local government for 44 years.

After the ceremony, JP Smith, Mayoral committee member for safety and security, said: “We tip our hats to the dedication of these individuals. Their contributions to our efforts to make Cape Town safer are greatly appreciated.

“What’s more is that you cannot put a price on the kind of experience that this group and others bring to safety and security; the kind of experience that is crucial to the younger staff members in our ranks who are starting out and who will one day be the seniors that others look up to.”

Traffic warden Cedrick Sampson started his career as a parking meter repairman in 1973, based at the Gallows Hill Traffic Department. In 2000, when the parking meter repair section became redundant, Mr Sampson was transferred to the traffic warden section, and then in 2004 was transferred to the northern suburbs where he continues to work as a warden.

The father of three is looking forward to his retirement when he will focus on fishing and other sports and spending time with his family.

Ismail Baker, of the disaster risk management centre, started as a labourer in the then cleansing branch in 1981. Then he was promoted to the ambulance service as a control room operator and also used the opportunity to complete the basic ambulance course. Twenty five years later, when the provincial authority took over the ambulance service, Mr Baker opted to go to the municipal disaster risk management (DRM) centre. While working for DRM, he got his driving licence, completed a disaster learnership programme and he is studying for a degree in this field.

“These staff members are a beacon to others. Many have had very humble beginnings and have worked hard to move through the ranks,” said Mr Smith.