'You wreck a vehicle you pay for it'- Msimanga warns Tshwane metro cops

Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga with one of the 103 off-road vehicles he handed over to the Tshwane metro police department.
Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga with one of the 103 off-road vehicles he handed over to the Tshwane metro police department.
Image: Sipho Mabena

Negligent Tshwane metro police who are wrecking the City of Tshwane metro’s vehicles will from now on take personal responsibility for their actions, Executive Mayor Solly Msimanga has declared.

“It is not going to be that you write-off a car, there is a quick accident report and we forget about it. If negligence is found to be on your side, you will take full responsibility for that,” the mayor said.

Msimanga said it could not be right that taxpayers’ money is lost through negligence, saying it was only logical for those responsible to take the rap.

He was speaking to the officers during the handing over of 103 off-road vehicles to the Tshwane metro department in Pretoria on Tuesday.

The mayor said the vehicles will be shared among various units in the department but said the majority of them will be allocated to the department’s specialised cable theft unit.

Msimanga said the scourge of cable theft has caused the administration major set-backs, with economic and social impact.

“It becomes a big problem when investors decide to disinvest in your city or country because then you have more people who are unemployed, and the more unemployment you have, the more social problems you are going to have,” he said.

The mayor said the vehicles will be used to patrol and safe-guard the electricity infrastructure.

“We need to ensure that we protect the investment that we have so that we can grow it a lot more…People of Mamelodi have complained that almost on weekly basis they have to suffer three or four outages because of the cables that are stolen around the Waltloo area there,” he said.

The mayor also warned the officers that the vehicles will be monitored via tracking devices to ensure that they were where they are supposed to be.

“These are not for taking your girlfriends and wives for shopping,” he said.

Tshwane metro police spokesperson, Superintendent Isaac Mahamba, said they were happy that their members have been equipped to carry out their most important mandate, to protect the metro’s infrastructure.

He said the officers will also receive appropriate fire power as they were dealing with dangerous syndicates.

Mahamba echoed Msimanga’s sentiments on the negligence that results in the writing-off of the department’s vehicles.

“We have established a committee within the department. Each and every accident is going to be assessed whether there was negligence on the member’s part or not. If there is negligence from our members, they are going to make sure that they pay from their own pockets. We cannot keep resourcing them while outside there you find that they are negligent and  are driving these cars recklessly,” he added.

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