Pretoria - Talks are under way among transport stakeholders to declare traffic policing in Gauteng a 24-hour essential service to fight car spiking and hijackings at night.
The ongoing discussions involved organised labour, the Road Traffic Management Corporation, and the provincial traffic management, said MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko.
Mazibuko revealed the status quo recently in a written reply to the DA’s Michael Shackleton.
She had previously disclosed that at least 21 motorists had fallen victim to car spiking on the N4 highway in 2018/19.
The highest number of motorists affected by this was 75, with the incidents taking place during the 2019/20 financial year.
During the 2020/21 financial year, police recorded 45 cases.
In a tweet, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula expressed optimism that the discussions would soon be finalised for the benefit of the traffic police and Gauteng road users.
“We must move with speed to finalise outstanding processes that will enable us to declare traffic policing a 24-hour, seven-day job. I appeal to those of you who have yet to conclude your respective processes to do so with speed,” Mbalula said.
He said they believed the move would be a step in the right direction to reduce the number of hijackings perpetrated by criminals who are planting spike traps on the roads.
In the past, fatalities were reported and people were seriously injured after they were involved in accidents caused by spikes that criminals had placed on the roads.
Shackleton said the latest developments showed that the DA was “closer to winning the battle of declaring the Gauteng Traffic Police an essential service to ensure 24-hour monitoring of Gauteng roads and the safety of road users”.
“This is a step in the right direction as the lives of motorists are in danger because there is no monitoring of Gauteng roads at night as the Gauteng Traffic Police don’t operate 24 hours a day,” he said.
He said his party had consistently demanded that the Gauteng Department of Community Safety declare traffic policing an essential service to ensure 24-hour monitoring of roads.
“The safety of all road users is critical, and the DA will continue to put pressure on both the national and provincial governments to declare the Gauteng Traffic Police an essential service.
“We will also be writing to MEC Mazibuko to ascertain the progress regarding the ongoing discussions to ensure that it yields positive results,” Shackleton said.