TRAFFIC officers in the Polokwane municipality in Limpopo yesterday downed tools and picketed at their station in protest against alleged bad treatment by their superiors.
A group of officers spent the greater part of yesterday in the shade of trees at the Polokwane traffic station while their representatives were locked in a meeting with management.
They had all left their official firearms at home as a way of registering their frustrations because of the alleged bad treatment.
The officers alleged that acting traffic manager Moses Ramothwala had been treating them badly and they have had enough of it.
The officers also accused Ramothwala of victimising them each time they raised issues of importance to them with him.
Among these issues were allegations that Ramothwala was treating those in his good books with kid gloves.
He allegedly placed his favourites in the speed section to work normal day shifts, while the others were sent out on to the streets to execute their duties even on weekends and public holidays.
"Ramothwala knows very well that we are operating on a skeleton staff that needs beefing up, but he keeps some of us in the offices, while others are sent to work in the scorching heat," complained the officers, who did not wish to be identified.
They also accused Ramothwala of failing to implement a council resolution that recommended they be promoted to the next level to qualify for car subsidies.
The resolution, they said, was approved by council in December 2006, but to date had still not been implemented.
The officers also alleged that promotions were given to female workers, whom they suspected might have had sexual encounters with their boss.
"For instance, we have been working here for almost 10 years without getting promotion, but someone came in three years ago and is already our senior," they said.
Approached for comment yesterday, municipal spokesperson Simon Mokoatedi said though the strike was illegal, they had initiated a meeting with the workers union to try and address the issues.
"But we have advised the union to follow the right processes to address all the concerns of traffic officers," Mokoatedi said.
He said all other allegations would be investigated.