Cape Town - Women traffic and law enforcement officers gathered for an all-female roadblock on Jakes Gerwel Drive on Tuesday, with the aim of acknowledging women’s role in the service.
Traffic services spokesperson Maxine Bezuidenhout said: “The purpose of the all-female roadblock was to showcase women’s resilience when working in the sector of safety and security.
“The public driving through the roadblock can also hopefully be inspired to take up a career in safety and security.”
At the roadblock, officers stopped 111 vehicles and issued fines to the value of R120 822.
One driver was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, four taxis were impounded, two cellphones confiscated and five motorists arrested for outstanding warrants.
The execution of 41 warrants was valued at R86 200.
Bezuidenhout said the service was not as male-dominated as before because women had been advancing steadily and had studied and applied for higher positions in traffic services and metro police.
Men had been a lot more accepting when it came to viewing women as equals in the workplace than they had been, say, 20 years ago, she said.
Currently 24% of traffic officers in the field were women, as were 66% of officers in administration.
According to a traffic gender breakdown quarterly report, there has been an increase in the amount of women taking up roles within sectors such as traffic services and law enforcement, and it has impacted on the perception of equality between the different genders.
In all, 215 vehicles were present at the roadblock comprising SAPS, law enforcement, metro law enforcement and City of Cape Town Traffic Services.
The city’s mayco member for safety and security, JP Smith, said this field of work was demanding, irrespective of gender, but there were hundreds of women employed in the city who helped make Cape Town a safer place.
“I hope that this exercise will highlight the important role of women in our uniformed services, but also serve as an inspiration to others to join the ranks in future.”
SAPS said woman brought more compassion into this field of work, because often during cases of sexual assault, victims felt a lot more comfortable speaking to a woman about an incident, and this is also why it was encouraged for more females to be employed in this sector.
Women could be more sensitive when it came to listening and dealing with certain victim situations, and that’s why they were needed, SAPS added.
* In commemoration of women, the Cape Argus will present a Woman of Soul event this Friday at The Daily Music Show in Loop Street in Cape Town. See advert on page 7.