File photo: African News Agency (ANA)

RUSTENBURG - The North West province has sent a record number of candidates to train as traffic officers in Mpumalanga, the department of community safety and transport management said on Tuesday.

"Over the years the department of community safety and transport management only managed to recruit and train less than 50 learners. This 2019/20 financial year is a historic year as the provincial treasury had come to the party favourably and availed funding for this poverty and youth unemployment busting programme," said department spokesman Thabo Sematle of the intake of 100 new recruits.

The learners were sent off on Sunday to start their 12 month training on road traffic management at the Mpumalanga Traffic Training College. 

"They will each receive a monthly competitive stipend over and above all meals, accommodation, uniform and transport, being provided to them. During the 12 months they will study towards an NQF level 4 Traffic Management Diploma that involves daily academic lectures, physical training and examinations," Sematle said.

They were recruited by the department with an objective of increasing the number of traffic officers in the province in a bid to  reduce the high number of accidents and fatalitiesm, as well as to ensure compliance by road users.

They will be employed permanently upon the successgul completion of their 12-month training.

Community Safety and Transport Management MEC Mpho Motlhabane encouraged learners to represent the province well.

"Be exemplary, work as a team, not in silos, and be there for each other. The slogan; 'you will never walk alone' means exactly that, no one must work alone but as part of team North West," he said.

"Of the 100 learnership candidates, we have 12 Coloureds, three Indians and one white learner. This is a breakthrough, it has never happened in the history of recruitment of learners as previously we only managed to recruit Africans and Coloured, not Indians and no whites made it through. 

"I am excited that all four districts and especially the villages have a fair share as many comes from these backgrounds. No more recruitments which is skewed in favour of townships, suburbs. We are taking these kids to an accredited institution and not a bogus college," he added.

African News Agency (ANA)