New traffic trainees to increase visibility of law enforcement on roads

Friday, March 31, 2023

The first cohort of traffic trainees in the country, who just completed the ground-breaking three-year intensive training, are ready to be deployed on the roads to ensure that law and order is maintained.

This as the first 21st Century Cadre of Traffic Officers have completed the three-year training programme, which has been accredited as an equivalent of National Diploma level (NQF Level 6) by the Quality Council of Trades and Occupation.

Before the introduction of this qualification, traffic officers were trained for a year on a NQF level 4 qualification, which is equivalent to matric.

Addressing the graduation ceremony for the first cohort of traffic trainees, Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga said the NQF level 6 qualification was registered with the South Africa Qualification Authority in 2018, paving the way for the first cohort of trainees who commenced training in January 2019.

“When we educate our young people, we arm them with the intellectual and cognitive tools and means not only to understand the world and their lives’ social experience, but also to change it, not only to better themselves but others in society,” the Minister said on Thursday in Kempton Park.

This group of traffic officers has been trained in all aspects of law enforcement, including traffic laws, criminal procedure, road safety, motor vehicle roadworthiness testing, driving licence testing, crime prevention and crash investigation.

In 2020, the training programme was disrupted by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which meant the training programme could not be completed within the specified time.

Tlamelo Petunia Monama, 39, from Hammanskraal said doing the training during the pandemic was challenging, as the group lost a trainee in 2020.

“We lost one of our own and it was a hard time for us. It has been difficult to be on campus, away from family for a long period. However, I am grateful that I have completed the training and look forward to being on the road,” Monama said

Prior to joining the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), Monama had worked for the North West Department of Community Safety and Transport for 14 years.

“I was the supervisor for the registration and licensing of motor vehicles at a Driver License and Testing Centre (DLTC). My love and passion for law enforcement inspired me to apply for this job.

“I have been working hand-in-hand with law enforcement officers and it motivated me be a traffic officer to protect South Africa, and to leave my 14 years of service at the DTLC. This is what encouraged me to apply for the job,” she said.

Thato Merafe, who had been unemployed for almost seven years, described the physical training as strenuous.

“I feel very proud to have completed the course because it took a long time and the physical training was intense from the first day we arrived oncampus. We barely slept for first three weeks of training. There were moments I thought about quitting but through God, I made it.

“I have always wanted to be a traffic officer, this is my childhood dream. As a child when we played with cars, I used to play the role of traffic officer, who was asking for the driver’s license,” Merafe said.

He said the job opportunity has brought hope into his life and made it possible for him to achieve his dreams through the course.

“I feel like a child. This job will allow me advance the life of my family and I will take my children to better schools,” Merafe said.

The Minister said the graduation was a celebration of the triumph of the human spirit against extraordinary odds.

“Your decision to work hard to change the trajectory of your future and the future of your country has brought all of you to this very defining moment of a life-long accolade, which will always be part of who you are.

“Some, if not most students, here come from the far flung rural and farm areas of this country. Such a ceremony will for many be a fitting reward for all the strain that education and its demands have placed on them every year of their stay here. It is also a reward most students will share with families and friends, as well as the communities from where they come,” Chikunga said.

She said education is a vital means of promoting good citizenship, as well as preparing people for the need of a modern economy in a democratic society. 

“It is important that we assert this notion within a context that enables a continuous discourse, which seeks to produce a citizenry that understands their role as patriots.

“We agree that patriotism must be an organic outcome of the efforts of progressive individuals, organisations and communities coming together for a shared future.

“We wish to believe that patriotism can fully evolve out of a relatively cohesive socio-political environment in which we all are able to freely enjoy our country’s wealth with equal opportunity.

“In our quest to better our country, we all have a mandate to carry out our roles and responsibilities to create a nurturing environment for true patriots who not only love their country but equally commit energy and resources towards the betterment of its people.

“As such, we can thus fashion a single belief that patriotism is about duty to one’s country. It’s a commitment to support anddefend your country and its interests with devotion,” she said. –