The graduation of 20 trainee traffic officers today signalled the end of the City of Cape Town’s first ever Traffic Services learnership programme.
The group was among 33 000 individuals who initially applied for the programme in the first quarter of 2015. The City whittled down the applicants to 4 054 who met the selection criteria and who were put through a rigorous physical assessment including a 2,4 km run, sit-ups, as well as shuttle runs that had to be completed within a specific time period. Only 625 candidates were left standing after the eight day assessment.
From there, candidates had to complete a written assessment. Those who passed were finally subjected to an interview process, resulting in 22 candidates starting the 12-month FET certificate course in Road Law Enforcement. During this time, two candidates left the programme to pursue other interests.
The course also included training in how to handle a firearm, conduct roadblocks and point duty, restraining techniques and agility.‘We started this learnership programme because qualified staff are hard to come by. Traffic is a specialised service and those with the skills are either already employed or retired, so effective succession planning is crucial. I think this programme has proven hugely successful and we will certainly look to replicate it in the future,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.
The graduates attended the City’s training academy and received a stipend during their training period. They will be drafted into the ranks of Cape Town Traffic Services and deployed in line with the department’s operational needs.
‘I want to commend the class of 2016 for their hard work in getting this far, but the real challenge starts when they hit the streets of Cape Town to help make our roads safer. Experience has shown that it is not a job for the faint of heart. That being said, I cannot stress enough that road safety is not guaranteed through enforcement alone. Road users need to work with us by altering their behaviour. We cannot babysit people in perpetuity – something has got to give,’ added Alderman Smith.