Plan to help with licences

Khangale Makhado

Khangale Makhado

The Limpopo Department of Roads and Transport is set to increase the number of traffic officers on its roads in a bid to boost safety.

But to become a traffic cop, one needs to have a driver's licence.

Consequently, a recruitment drive, targeting youths from previously disadvantaged communities and who currently might not have a driver's licence, will be launched.

Roads and transport MEC Justice Pitso said 200 recruits were expected to start working on June 14 and a further 300 would be employed before 2010.

Spokesman for the MEC Boiki Tsedu said yesterday the selection process would entail working with municipalities and local communities where the recruits lived.

According to Tsedu, the department would help candidates to obtain a driver's licence.

This follows last week's budget vote at the Lebowakgomo provincial legislature where Pitso announced the programme.

"One of the inherent requirements for employment as a traffic officer is a driver's licence. We have found this excludes the majority of our people who come from poor backgrounds," Pitso said.

He said the department had introduced a measure to pay for recruits' driver's licence, but that these recruits would have to meet such requirements as having matriculated and having no criminal record.

Tsedu said the move was important because it emphasised police visibility and induced more people to abide by traffic rules.

"It is also equally important that we make a call to our road users to observe the law because if they do not do so, our efforts to make roads safer could go to waste," he said.