Crippling costs to police truck gridlock in Richards Bay






The escalating expenses associated with managing the trucking logjam at the Port of Richards Bay have compelled the uMhlathuze Local Municipality to seek intervention from the Presidency to address the issue.

In a breakdown of its costs, the Richards Bay Council revealed that its yearly allocation of R4 million for overtime payments to traffic officers has already been depleted for this financial year.

An application for an additional R14 million has been submitted to the city manager by the Community Services department to fund truck management duties.

This funding will need to be drawn from the budgets of other municipal departments.

Authorities stated earlier this week that reservist traffic police have been pulled in on fixed-term contracts to assist with traffic management, and this measure will be implemented by next week.

The council highlighted that the city’s traffic officers have been working to control the persistent disruptions caused by up to 1 800 tipper trucks arriving at the port daily to offload coal.

“On average, traffic police officers have been receiving overtime pay that exceeds even their basic salary,” the council said.

“Authorities have been compelled to extensively deploy traffic department personnel to regulate truck traffic, ensuring the smooth flow of traffic and safety on the roads.”

The responsibility for the situation on the roads leading to the port, particularly the N2 highway southbound, has been squarely attributed to the Department of Transport, which seems to rely on local authorities to untangle traffic snarl-ups.

No mention has been made of the cost of repairing Richards Bay’s road infrastructure, damaged by the excessive number of tippers.

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