South Africa
This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Acting JMPD chief explains why coloured contract traffic wardens won't get permanent posts

Fourteen coloured traffic wardens working at the Joburg metro police department  under the extended public works programme (EPWP) were not shortlisted for permanent posts because of their race.

This is according to acting JMPD chief Angie Mokasi who held a meeting with the group earlier this week where she gave reasons for their unsuccessful applications. 

In a short audio clip taken during their engagement, Mokasi was heard saying: “You won't be appointed ... because you are a coloured”.

In another video clip circulating online, a coloured traffic warden explains that they were part of a group of 74 wardens — 60 of them apparently black and 14 coloured.

“Out of the 14 (coloured candidates), not one was called [for an interview] for a permanent post that was advertised. Out of the 74 (candidates), only 60 have been called,” she said.

“We came to Martindale to enquire why we haven't been getting called and the [acting] chief of JMPD made sure we understand that they were not looking for coloured people,” the traffic warden was heard saying. 

A second meeting was to have been held between the disgruntled wardens, JMPD officials and leaders from the coloured community to discuss the matter. The wardens were  represented by the African Christian Democratic Party's (ACDP) Bishop Dulton Adams.

But the meeting was cancelled, according to JMPD spokesperson Xolani Fihla.

He also clarified that no appointments had been made yet but that candidates had been shortlisted for interviews.

The positions were advertised in May with a minimum requirement of grade 12 and affidavit proving that the applicant does not have a criminal record. The advert said no experience was required “as successful candidates will be trained as traffic wardens”. Having a driver's licence was featured as an advantage.

“All suitably qualified candidates are encouraged to apply and will be considered. The city applies the principles of employment equity as per national legislation and policy guidelines and will consider designated groups in line with these requirements.

“Preference will be given to previously disadvantaged groups including those with disabilities. Appointments will be made in accordance with the approved employment equity plan to promote its equitable representation in terms of race, gender, and disability,” the advert stated. 


On Friday, Mokasi told TimesLIVE there was a longer clip of the meeting in which she had provided more context as to why the group was overlooked.

“In JMPD, we don't have coloureds. Chances are you are in the JMPD counted as coloureds. Then EE (employment equity) targets are determined by the metro centre people that are dealing with [those] targets. They look into the whole city and [a specific] position ... [and] say in terms of the EE target currently, we have 90% people that are blacks and whites and you need coloureds across the city for that level,” she was heard saying in the longer clip. 

In it, she explained that these exclusions not only applied by race but also gender. She defended the policy, despite protests, saying it was “fair discrimination” and was “allowed”.

She also explained that there had been posts that favoured whites, Indians and coloureds but because not enough people from their groups applied, the department had applied for a deviation from the process to allow it to hire excluded groups. 

This deviation did not apply to this group because thousands of applications were received, providing a big enough selection pool.

Mokasi told the unhappy workers to challenge the policy if they wished to and insisted there was no city policy that focused on absorbing or promoting contract workers for permanent positions. 

“There's no process where we say because you are EPWP [workers you must be absorbed]. We've had EPWPs forever and none of them were absorbed.

“They applied for positions as and when they are available and if they qualify, then they are considered. It doesn't mean because you are EPWPs in the city, that automatically means when there are positions, you will be absorbed. You apply for those positions and compete for them,” she said.

TimesLIVE reached out to one of the wardens who was present at the meeting. She wished to remain anonymous out of fear of victimisation.

She explained that they were currently on an 18-month contract which was due to end in five months' time. She claimed that  earlier this year, the group was  promised permanent employment.

"[This is because] we do what permanent traffic wardens do, there's no difference. The only difference is permanent wardens get paid a better salary while we get paid a stipend,” she said.

The warden confirmed that they had all applied for the permanent posts and were surprised when some within the group of 74 began receiving calls for interviews but others did not.

The unsuccessful cohort initially thought they would get also called in but later learnt that no more calls would be made. After investigating, the wardens apparently realised that only coloured wardens had been unsuccessful in their applications.

The wardens fall under the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) and their roles include patrolling “areas as assigned for the enforcement of general law and order”.