‘Pay back our money!’ say protesting Buffalo City traffic cops

23 June 2015 - 15:46 By Mike Loewe

Traffic cops blockaded the main street outside new Buffalo City Metro (BCM) mayor Alfred Mtsi's City Hall offices. This was a strangely private public protest. Neither the 50 traffic cops‚ the South African Police Service (SAPS)‚ nor senior BCM officials would say anything to the media.A siren wailed‚ and the uniformed traffic cops‚ some carrying side-arms‚ shouted out their discontent with not being paid an “allowance since December”.They also shouted: “We are tired! We want our additional responsibility allowances. Pay back our money!”About 10 traffic cars blockaded Oxford Street for about an hour.In an odd turnaround‚ the traffic officers-turned-protestors and SAPS were seen huddled in intense talks in the middle of the street as traffic stood still.One traffic cop shouted: “We are trained to boost them (SAPS) at all costs. Now they want to move us but we want to talk to management.”The SAPS kept a cool presence despite palpable tension.At one stage‚ the SAPS were keen to disarm the traffic cops but conflict was averted when a South African Municipal Workers' Union organiser in a black T-shirt arrived. He refused to give his name.Traffic cop protestors gathered around a BCM-shirted official who‚ speaking in an urgent tone‚ was heard saying: “As your leadership‚ we are proposing that you move (the demo).”The officers traipsed off to a venue where they would apparently negotiate with BCM and some traffic cars were moved.Dispatch journalists have been told that traffic officers resent having to push brooms and shovels to remove rubble strewn on roads by demonstrators‚ wade through flooded roads to reach blown sewer holes‚ and humping heavy barricade fences.They say this work falls outside the National Road Traffic Act. - RDM News Wire, Daily Dispatch

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