The government motor transport (GMT) unit of the provincial Department of Transport and Public Works is working on ideas that will make vehicles safer for EMS personnel. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency
The government motor transport (GMT) unit of the provincial Department of Transport and Public Works is working on ideas that will make vehicles safer for EMS personnel. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency

Western Cape Department of Transport wants to make EMS vehicles safer for staff

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Feb 1, 2021

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Cape Town - The government motor transport (GMT) unit of the provincial Department of Transport and Public Works is working on ideas that will make vehicles safer for EMS personnel, who have been subjected to scores of attacks in recent years.

Chief director of transport regulation Yasir Ahmed said: “When there are service delivery protests our vehicles are targeted. GMT has had to respond to assist clients in protecting the vehicles and the personnel who make use of them.

“We are particularly concerned about EMS and traffic personnel who have been targeted and whose security has been at risk. How GMT can assist to make the vehicles safer for the personnel is a work in progress,” said Ahmed.

Ahmed was answering questions during the Scopa’s discussion of the department’s annual report for the 2019/20 financial year.

Meanwhile, the continuing Covid-19 pandemic has emerged as the key emerging risk the Department of Transport and Public Works will have to consider in the next financial year.

According to the report: “On the one hand the department will have to consider how it will continue and recover its business during and after the pandemic and on the other hand it will need to take into account that the already struggling industries it is involved with, construction and transport particularly, will face significant challenges to recover its business and might not even be able to do so.”

Another of the risks identified in the annual report was the department’s ability to track, recruit and retain specialised skills. In view of this, committee member Derrick America (DA) asked : “In terms of succession planning, what measures are being put in place to ensure that whatever skills lost through natural attrition and resignations are retained and to ensure that in the future we’ll be able to have those skills available?”

Earlier, MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela said: “The department received a clean audit under very difficult conditions. The team faced a number of challenges given the fact that our fiscus is shrinking.

“To strike a balance between ensuring that the department's work continues while also re-prioritising our commitments is something complex and difficult,” said Madikizela.

Cape Argus

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