Sub-council’s taxis, traffic cops conundrum

SOYISO MALITI

There are only 12 traffic officers patrolling the northern suburbs of Kraaifontein, Brackenfell, Bellville and Durbanville, among others, the City’s traffic services said in the Sub-council 2 meeting on Wednesday February 18. The report by principal traffic inspector, Desré Benadie, painted a bleak picture of extreme understaffing, and noted that only two traffic officers were on duty per shift.

Addressing Ms Benadie, sub-council chairman and Ward 7 councillor, Grant Twigg, raised the issue of lawlessness among taxi drivers, particularly on the corner of Old Paarl and Brighton roads, where they had been blocking a resident’s driveway.

He criticised the traffic services for failing to tackle the problem and said it wouldn’t be allowed to happen in Brackenfell and Constantia. Ms Benadie said she was aware of taxis and the “rank stop” in front of the corner house on Old Paarl Road.

She said they would remove the taxis, only for them to return the following morning.

“We don’t have enough manpower… It’s impossible to be there every day.”

Responding to Mr Twigg’s assertion that traffic services appeared to prioritise other neighbourhoods, Ms Benadie conceded officers were less visible because there were only two working per shift in the area.

However, she said she had worked in the City Bowl for five years and had noticed many of the same problems in the Cape Town CBD.

She said ticketing taxis was of little use because many of them “don’t appear in the system”.

Councillors insisted that something needed to be done. Ward 8 councillor, Marian Niewoudt, said there was a need to meet with the City’s top traffic cops.

Mr Twigg said: “This is one of those items we will have to discuss with one of the Mayco members.“

ANC proportional representation councillor, Gert Moolman, said manpower had to be shared equally across the city.

Ms Benadie responded, saying she would take it upon herself to remove the taxis on the corner of Brighton and Old Paarl roads.

She said despite already being stretched to the limit, her office also had to help with police and law enforcement operations.

* The councillors also elected proportional representative DA councillor Xoliswa Pakela-Mapasa to serve on the Maroela housing project’s steering committee.

San-Marie van Jaarsveld, an official from the human settlements directorate, said no residents under the age of 40 would benefit from the housing project in Kraaifontein.

The project was still in its pre-planning stages, according to the City.