The underfunding and understaffing of the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department (EMPD) are of grave concern to the DA.
Ward councillor Jaco Terblanche said only 1 699 trained EMPD officials are available to protect the residents of Ekurhuleni.
According to him, the MMC of Community Safety, Clr Vivian Chauke, said 895 out of the 2 594 EMPD officials are traffic wardens.
“Traffic wardens are not trained EMPD officers and they, therefore, cannot carry out certain duties or carry firearms. This essentially means that there are only 1 699 trained officials,” Terblanche said in a statement.
“In 2016, the population of Ekurhuleni sat at 3 379 104 people. This means that for every 1 988 people in Ekurhuleni, there is only one trained EMPD officer to protect them. According to this information, it is evident that the EMPD is terribly understaffed and there is absolutely no political will from the ANC-led coalition to employ more EMPD officers,” he added.
“Furthermore, there seems to be no incentive for traffic wardens to become EMPD officers. Traffic wardens at the highest level earn more than entry-level constables. Yet, constables hold a higher ranking than traffic wardens. How are these scales justified?” he asked.
“The City of Ekurhuleni needs to get its ducks in a row as residents are now under threat as there are fewer police officers to enforce by-laws. The understaffed and under-resourced EMPD puts a further dent in their ability to operate effectively and efficiently.”
The metro police failed to comment at the time of going to print.