Months before the 2010 Soccer World Cup, Nelson Mandela Bay officials entrusted a project team with establishing a plan to implement a Metro Police service in Nelson Mandela Bay.
The Metro Police Service is scheduled for an official launch tomorrow, Friday 13 May 2016.
As the launch of this service has been dogged by regime changes, political infighting and numerous Metro Police Chiefs employed at huge cost we at MyPE are a bit concerned at the choice of date for the launch. Let us not scoff at Triskaidekaphobia and maybe stay in bed on that day leaving the launch to another!
The Metro Police Logo in the press release is proudly dated 2012.
PLEASE NOTE: On Friday morning the following roads will be closed:
- Cnr Military Rd and Whites Rd
- Cnr Whites Rd and Chapel Street
Have a look at some of the on-again off-again saga below:
- 25 February 2010 – Metro Police Force ‘Number One’ Priority: The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s plan to establish a Metro Police Service has reached an important stage. The project team, entrusted with the task of establishing the Metro Police Service(MPS), has completed phase 1 of the project and has submitted the application for the establishment of the service to the office of MEC for Roads, Transport and Liaison, Gloria Barry. The City is awaiting a response before 21 March 2010.
- 13 February 2012 – Metro police would add an extra 9% to property taxes: A Municipal Police Service for Nelson Mandela Bay would “not be financially self-sustainable in the short to medium term.” This is according to Chief Financial Officer Kevin Jacoby, who points out that an additional property rates increase of around 9% would be required between 2011/12 and 2013/14 financial years to pay for the new municipal police service. This is in addition to the 11% increase that rate payers can expect to take effect in July, which has already been budgeted for. Provincial Safety and Liaison MEC Helen Sauls-August approved the establishment of a metropolitan police service for Nelson Mandela Bay last month. In a report to the Budget and Treasury Committee, Jacoby says the conclusion that the new service would not be self-sustainable was based on “the current and declining income trends and the existing financial burden on ratepayers to fund traffic and security services”. In his report, Jacoby points out that 76% of the budget for the municipal police service would have to be funded from property rates in the current financial year, and this would rise slightly to 77% over the next two financial years. In the original business plan for the current financial year, he says, the amount to be funded from property rates was budgeted at R129.2 million, or 54% of the operating expenses, but this had now increased to R207.3 million or 76% in terms of the revised business plan. Jacoby says in the report that, when comparing the initial business plan with the revised version, the deficit to be funded by ratepayers had increased, which was not “the ideal situation”. The projected income from the establishment of the service had decreased “due to the income adjustments made in line with current income trends”. One reason for this was that employee-related costs had increased as a result, for example, of salary gradings that would add some R8.1 million to the budget. He goes on to say that there were also additional costs associated with providing a 24-hour service that included the payment of night and Sunday allowances amounting to R18.4 million a year. Further, Jacoby said, an extra R4.9 million would be required for the fleet of 328 vehicles, R3 million for protective clothing, R2.2 million for uniforms and R3.7 million for training; making a total of R40.5 million in additional costs not initially calculated.
- 16 February 2012 – Bay’s Metro Police Project Director dismissed: The Nelson Mandela Bay municipality have terminated the employment of the person who was supposed to be instrumental in establishing the new metro police in the city. “The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has terminated the employment contract of the Project Director of the Metro Police Project Team, Ms Trish Armstrong. This is after a material breach of her employment contract occurred,” said Municipal spokesman, Kupido Baron. Baron would not elaborate on the exact nature of the breach, except to say that the Municipality was committed to clean governance and expected the highest ethical standards from all it employees. The Metro Police Service was supposed to come into effect last week Saturday, the 11th of February, after the decision to establish the metro police service was gazetted in the Provincial Gazette by Eastern Cape MEC for Human Settlements, Safety and Liaison, Helen Sauls-August.
- 20 June 2013 – NMB metro police will form part of single national service: Nelson Mandela Bay’s Metro Police Force, once established, will form part of a single police force in terms of the recommendations contained in a Green Paper on Policing published in the Government Gazette. The Green Paper points out that the South African Police Service must act in accordance with the national policing policy and the directions of the Minister of Police and are “ultimately responsible to Parliament”. “The Metropolitan Police on the other hand are less subject to strong accountability measures and this in itself poses serious risks to our democracy.”
The Green Paper states that where police are unaccountable “situations may arise that require specific interventions from national government”.
- 14 August 2013 – Nelson Mandela Bay advertises for Metro Police Force: The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has taken a further step in the establishment of a metro police force, advertising the position of Metro Police Chief. In terms of the timeframes in the Integrated Development Plan for the current financial year, the intention is to have the police force established by the end of June next year.Permission to establish the force has already been given by Eastern Cape Safety and Liaison MEC Helen Sauls-August and the metro met recently with senior police officials in Pretoria on the proposal. Once the executive head has been appointed, Council must appoint a committee to ensure civilian oversight over the municipal police force and the target is to have the Draft Metro Police Structure in place by the third quarter and approved by Council. Acting Safety and Security Executive Director Shane Brown says one of the challenges that will need to be met is providing the funds for the establishment of the Metro Police. No provision has been made in the 2013/14 capital budget for Safety and Security for the purchase of vehicles and other equipment required by the force. Brown said in a recent report to Council that start-up costs for the force would be about R37 million. He says implementation of a 24-hour a day service that does not exist currently will cost R10.6 million, the rebranding of existing vehicles to “Metro Police” will cost about R1.64 million and the provision of new standard uniforms will add R4 million to the bill for the start-up costs.
- 4 February 2014 – Cloud over new metro police force: NELSON Mandela Bay’s new metro police chief, Pinkie Mathabathe, reported for duty yesterday amid a host of unanswered questions, including some on the legality of her appointment and a budget for her department. Although city manager Mpilo Mbambisa insisted her appointment was legal, the council has yet to approve an organogram which accommodates the metro police chief. The budgets for safety and security have also not yet been adjusted for a new metro police force.
- 5 February 2014 – Cadre deployment of Mandela Metro Police Chief is illegal: The DA believes that the recent appointment of Metro Police Chief, Pinky Mathabathe, by the Executive Mayor, Benson Fihla, is illegal and nothing more than another political appointee to our over politicized administration.
- 11 April 2014 – Executive Mayor’s Full State Of The Metro Address: To help fight lawlessness and to help us implement our by-laws, the Municipality is in the process of envisioning and planning a Metro Police Force. In this regard, a positive development, on 1 February 2014, was the appointment in our Municipality of the first female Municipal Police Chief in the country.
- 5 September 2014 – Senior metro police officer facing fraud probe: Senior Tshwane metro police officer, Johanna “Trish” Armstrong, who is being investigated for fraud, has been issued with a letter of intention to suspend her, Tshwane metro police said on Thursday. Armstrong has worked for three metro police departments in the country in the past 12 years. From July 2009 to 2012, she was with the Nelson Mandela Bay metropolitan police. According to an article in the Metro Newspaper on 16 February 2012, her employment contract was terminated due to “material breach of her contract”. The paper reported she was a project director of a team tasked with establishing the metro police in the city. Municipal spokesperson Kupido Baron told the paper at the time: “The Nelson Mandela Bay municipality has terminated the employment contract of the project director of the metro police project team, Ms Trish Armstrong. This is after a material breach of her employment contract occurred.” Baron said the municipality expected the highest ethical standards from its employees. Armstrong sued her former employer and in September 2012 the Labour Court ordered that the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality pay her R234 000 for unfair dismissal.
- 16 July 2015 – R1m for idle metro police chief: The Nelson Mandela Bay Metro in the Eastern Cape is accused of wasteful expenditure in employing a metro police chief with no metro police force to lead. Pinkie Mathabathe was employed a year ago as the boss of the still non-existent metro police force. The former Tshwane deputy-chief of metro police is reported to be earning almost R1 million a year. The establishment of the Nelson Mandela Bay metro police force has already been delayed for five years due to budgetary constraints and labour bickering.
- 18 November 2015 – ‘Hardware’ for Metro police: Only a day after the Nelson Mandela Bay metro police were left without a chief, the “hardware” was introduced for the new force. Altogether 21 vehicles were added to the metro police force’s existing arsenal by mayor Danny Jordaan last week – and this is just the first step. Last month Jordaan requested a plan by the metro’s councillors on how to finally establish a metro police force – nearly two years after Pinkie Mathabathe was appointed as metro police chief.
- 12 January 2016 – 2013 NMB Metro Police plan delayed: The DA has in its possession an existing and already adopted and gazetted plan to establish a Metro Police Service in Nelson Mandela Bay. This plan was declared a “special project of the executive mayor” on the 20th June 2013. The delay by the current ANC government in NMB to launch and operate a Metro Police service is final confirmation of the complete disarray and mayem in which the ANC finds itself in NMB. This continues to keep our people unsafe, and subjecting communities to gangsterism and crime. In late October 2015, the current ANC Mayor asked for “a tangible, cost-effective plan to launch the metro police”, which needed to be on his desk by the end of November, at the latest. Two months later, there is still no plan and no officers on the beat, because the ANC simply does not care enough to act.
- 9 March 2016 – Metro Cops will clean up eBhayi!: NELSON Mandela Bay mayor Danny Jordaan has assured residents the municipality will definitely have Metro cops next month. Residents have long been calling for a Metro police force, especially the people living in the gang-infested northern areas of Port Elizabeth. The council adopted a decision to create a metro police department in 2009 but the process was delayed by infighting, budget issues and poor management. Former Tshwane Metro police boss Pinkie Mathabathe was appointed as chief of the Nelson Mandela department two years ago despite there being no Metro police department. Jordaan this week told Daily Sun: “The Metro police will be put into service in April.” The council approved the establishment of the force in November 2009 and the provincial government approved the decision in 2011.
- 10 March 2016 – Nelson Mandela Bay to launch Metro Police force: The municipality this week announced plans to launch police department next month, more than six years after the city council’s resolution to establish the force. The Nelson Mandela Bay’s Metro Police Department has been six years in the making. Metro Police Chief Pinkie Mathabethe, who was employed in 2014, has had no actual police force to lead. Municipality spokesperson Kupido Baron says this will soon change. “We will be implementing the Metro Police as soon as April.” Baron says the exact date of the launch will be announced later this month.
- 1 April 2016 – Metro police set to roar into operation: (look again at THE DATE) NELSON Mandela Bay’s metro police force launches officially today and to show they mean business, officers will be out in full force pulling over illegally modified cars – and impounding them. Standard vehicles, including taxis, will not form part of the operation. While it was reported last month that staff still needed to be trained and uniforms bought, vehicles branded and offices sought, metro police spokesman Khawulezile Mbambe insisted yesterday they would be ready for action today. He said they wanted to show Bay motorists they were “serious about road safety and will do whatever it takes to make the Friendly City a safe place to drive in”. “This thing of modified cars . . . is a national problem and officials have already clamped down in places such as Cape Town,” he said.
- 4 April 2016 – 25-Day Countdown to Metro Police Launch: The Metro Police Steering Committee led by the Safety and Security Acting Executive Director: Shadrack Sibiya is hard at work in order to ensure that all the legislative requirements are met which include a 24 hour service, civilian oversight (in terms of section 64 J of the South African Police Service Act, 1995). The first phase of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Police will kick off on 30 April 2016.
- 4 April 2016 – Nelson Mandela Bay marks 25 day countdown to Metro Police Launch: Plans are afoot to launch the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Police and the City has set aside almost R4 million for the implementation and an additional R224 million has already been budgeted for the 2015/2016 financial year.
- 18 April 2016 – John Best and Rayno Kayser join the DA: Mr Best is a former municipal employee who was responsible for the NMBM‘s Joint Operations Centre (JOC) which was established to resolve service delivery issues. As an expert in safety and security, Mr Best was a founding member of the NMBM Metro Police project team and will be instrumental to our objective of establishing a Metro Police force in NMB.
- 22 April 2016 – Criminal pal appointed as Head of Safety and Security: [Linda] Mti has not only been convicted of drink driving and reckless and negligent driving, but has also been found by the SIU to have alleged fraudulent and corrupt relationships with private contractors to government in deals to the value of R1.5 billion, for which he was allegedly built a mansion as a reward. As Safety and Security Head, Mti will have a pivotal role in managing NMB’s long-outstanding metro police service, whose launch has now been delayed given the hugely inadequate preparations and massive R15 million budget shortfall.
- 28 April 2016 – Mandela Bay metro police launch delayed: The launch of Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s much anticipated Metro Police Force has been postponed until next month. The first phase of the R4 million Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Police was meant to kick off on April 30. Acting City Manager Johan Mettler, said the two-week delay was due to practical issues and anticipated lengthy consultations regarding the programme.