The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipal Traffic Department revived its motorcycle unit at a launch today with grand plans to bolster this unit even further with locally recruited traffic officers by the end of 2020.
Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Member of the Mayoral Committee for Safety and Security, Cllr Noluthando Pink, gave the new unit the thumbs up.
“This initiative is long overdue since these bikes were unnecessarily gathering dust since 2010, essentially making the money used to buy it, wasteful expenditure.
“Now that we launched it, the motorcycles will make a big difference. In peak hours, the bikes can manoeuvre much easier than cars to respond to emergencies. This will go a long way towards servicing our communities better,” MMC Pink said.
The motorcycles will be on the road from next week.
Director for Traffic and Licensing, Warren Prins said the motorcycles were bought for the Fifa Soccer World Cup and was never optimally utilized to enforce traffic laws or to perform other duties.
“All the current members of the unit volunteered to be part of the motorcycle team following the distribution of a departmental memorandum. Officer Vuyelwa Manana is making history as the first female traffic officer to be part of a motorcycle unit for the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. It is a step up for the traffic fraternity since it is a male dominated environment. This is especially noteworthy during Women’s Month.
“The motorcycles will be operational in specific areas from Monday but its operations will be limited. The idea is to reintroduce the use of motorcycles in our Metro as we have a vast area to cover including a long stretch of the N2 Freeway, “ Mr Prins said.
Nine motorcycles will be operational from next week. A tenth is currently in for repairs.
Executive Director for Safety and Security, Adv. Keith Meyer commended the Head of Traffic for his efforts.
“I would like to commend the Head of Traffic as the motorcycles were standing idle for a long time. When the Traffic Chief and I started at the end of 2017, we agreed to revive the utilization of the motorcycles.
“They were very important tools, standing idle and gathering dust. We needed to dust it off and bring it to the community to provide a better service as motorcycles are obviously much easier to manoeuvre.
“Today’s launch is as a result of that vision as well as the passion of our new MMC for Safety and Security.
“I would like to thank all the motorcycle riders especially since they volunteered to be part of the unit and the rose amongst the thorns in particular. Officer Manana’s presence in the unit, launched in August, just add another dimension to the project.
“I am confident that the unit will succeed as the participants willingly made themselves available for service,” Meyer concluded.
Pink lauded Manana’s inclusion by saying: “It is evident that we are moving in the right direction as this is a male dominated Directorate of the municipality.
“Women must not be held back by the virtue of our gender and we must take our space,” she added.
Plans are afoot to expand the motorcycle unit from the corps of 90 new traffic recruits residing in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. This group will finish their training at the Port Elizabeth Traffic College by the end of next year.
Vuyelwa Manana enjoyed her moment in the spotlight with a spirited message to women in general.
“I want to thank my Director for allowing me to be part of the motorcycle squad and giving me this great opportunity as it is a dream come true.
“I love motorcycles and to ride it. It is not easy but with determination and a positive mind-set, you can do it. Tell yourself that you can do it, Be positive at all time
“It is not a male dominated world anymore. We are here to stay and will be proving ourselves to the guys that we can also do it.
“I am paving the way for other ladies to come. I am the first one, but will definitely not be the last one,” Manana said.
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