Not all Mpumalanga traffic officers who handle firearms are trained

By Bosman Grobler MPL, Spokesperson on Community Safety, Security & Liaison:

It is concerning that the Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison in Mpumalanga spent R7.4 million less on Training and Development and has cut its fleet budget by R9.6 million in the 2014/15 financial year.

50 traffic officers were not trained in firearm handling, a further 50 were not recruited for training and 356 schools were excluded in road safety programmes.

This was revealed in the annual report for the 2014/15 financial year, where the Auditor General (AG) has given the department a qualified audit opinion for a second year in a row.

(Click here to view report)

The AG sites insufficient evidence to support the accumulated debt and revenue collected as stated by the department as the main reason for this opinion.

It is crucial that traffic officers undergo the basic traffic officer training and then commence with their duties, to enforce the rules of the road and to ensure the safety of our road users.

Community Safety, Security and Liaison MEC Vusi Shongwe’s performance in his department puts a big question mark on whether his appointment as acting Premier in Mpumalanga was the right move. How will the MEC oversee the province’s finances if he fails to deal with just one department.

This department has also managed to increase the amount spent on contractors from R12.2 million in 2013/14, to R34.5 million in the 2014/15 financial year.

It further went on to underspend its total budget by R15.5 million and reported fruitless and wasteful expenditure of R63 194 589 as well as unauthorized expenditure of R89 511 000.

The AG also states that this department’s leadership is lacking as it did not always ensure ongoing monitoring and supervision to enable an assessment of effectiveness internal control.

The Audit outcome for the Community Safety, Security and Liaison department clearly shows that MEC Shongwe is unable to provide the leadership that this department desperately needs.