Cape Town law enforcement officers protest

JP Smith accuses protesters of “dangerous and irresponsible lies”

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Photo of protesters
Cape Town law enforcement officers marched from Hanover Street to the Civic Centre on Saturday. Photo: Tariro Washinyira

City of Cape Town law enforcement officers marched from Hanover Street to the Civic Centre on Saturday.

About 150 protesters were dressed in red and were represented by the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU). Earlier, SAMWU published a statement listing several grievances. These include the City using Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) recruits on three year contracts.

“They are also sometimes expected to perform beyond the scope of their work by having to chase gangsters in the townships, yet they are not peace officers. The maintenance of law and order is the function of SAPS and not EPWP but because they are so desperate for work, these youngsters are exposing and risking their lives,” stated SAMWU.

“The central contributing factor is corruption and lack of decisive management or leadership in the City. Staff morale is at its lowest, the key issues of priority are simply overlooked and ignored. Workplace unrest has become the order of the day and the City management is more worried about restructuring across departments, creating top jobs for friends and relatives.”

Demands include a change to the City’s salary structure for law enforcement officers, the conversion of EPWP employees to permanent staff, the return to work of dismissed officers, and the withdrawal of external advertisements for vacancies.

Richard Bosman, Executive Director for Safety and Security, received a memorandum from the protesters and promised to respond within five days.

On Saturday, the City’s Mayco Member for Safety and Security responded briefly, saying: “There are dangerous and irresponsible lies and misrepresentations in [the SAMWU] statement which have to be corrected.”

Smith said the City would issue a statement on Monday. At the time of publication, after 4pm, GroundUp had not yet received the statement.

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