Im­pec­ca­ble ser­vice bodes well for keep­ing roads safe over fes­tive sea­son

The Star Early Edition - - METRO -

AT A Joburg metro po­lice depart­ment (JMPD) cer­e­mony, the City of Joburg and Drive Dry awarded the top per­form­ing JMPD Hero of 2018, Ger­ald Nxumalo, with a brand-new Volk­swa­gen Polo.

He was com­mended for his im­pec­ca­ble ser­vice and bring­ing to book driv­ers who don’t ad­here to the rules of the road.

First and sec­ond run­ners-up Is­mail Mgiba and Shu­mani Net­shi­fume were re­warded with vouch­ers to the value of R15 000 and R5 000 re­spec­tively.

Drive Dry is a re­spon­si­ble-drink­ing ini­tia­tive by global al­co­hol bev­er­age com­pany Di­a­geo, and aims to com­bat the abuse of al­co­hol on South African roads. As such, it has spon­sored the prizes for the top of­fi­cers this sea­son.

“The JMPD has de­liv­ered great re­sults in its at­tempt to re­duce crime and drunk-driv­ing in­ci­dents in Joburg this last year and it is our wish to sup­port them,” said Di­a­geo cor­po­rate re­la­tions di­rec­tor Sibani Mn­gadi.

“We see this as the start of what we hope to be a long and fruit­ful part­ner­ship in our mu­tual quest to keep South African roads free of drunk driv­ers,” added Mn­gadi.

With road safety as the num­ber one pri­or­ity for both the JMPD and Drive Dry, es­pe­cially dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son, the col­lab­o­ra­tion was put in place to en­sure strin­gent law en­force­ment by re­ward­ing of­fi­cers who con­duct them­selves in a re­spon­si­ble and ap­pro­pri­ate man­ner and who en­force the rules of the road and don’t take bribes.

“We can­not en­sure the safety of our peo­ple on the roads by work­ing alone,” said JMPD chief David Tembe.

“It is through part­ner­ships with pri­vate stake­hold­ers like Di­a­geo’s Drive Dry that we will be able to keep our com­mu­ni­ties safe and re­duce the high num­ber of al­co­hol-re­lated road fa­tal­i­ties,” he added.

Some of the cri­te­ria used to as­sess the win­ners in­cluded the num­ber of al­co­hol screen­ings they con­ducted over the year, which were used to de­ter­mine whether driv­ers were above the le­gal limit.

Screen­ings in­cluded a breathal­yser test and the col­lec­tion of blood sam­ples used as ev­i­dence for prose­cu­tion.

Of­fi­cers were also as­sessed on their will­ing­ness to go beyond the call of duty, whether they ap­peared pro­fes­sional at all times, con­ducted them­selves in a good man­ner, re­spected their work and that of their col­leagues, used the JMPD re­sources re­spon­si­bly, at no time ac­cepted bribes from ir­re­spon­si­ble road users and en­sured that mo­torists did not con­sume al­co­hol or be­have in a way that would put other peo­ple’s lives in dan­ger.

Joburg mayor Her­man Mashaba said: “The col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tor or­gan­i­sa­tions is key to im­prov­ing the safety and well­be­ing of our res­i­dents.

“We look for­ward to see­ing the re­sults of this part­ner­ship and a tougher out­come for those driv­ers who have no re­gard for the law or safety of oth­ers.”

JO­HAN­NES­BURG City Parks and Zoo (JCPZ) is fo­cus­ing on es­tab­lish­ing parks in ar­eas of “spe­cial needs”, which in­clude the in­ner city, where the pop­u­la­tion is dense and the ma­jor­ity of res­i­dents live in flats, creat­ing a dire need for green open spa­ces. Three in­ner-city parks have re­cently been mod­ernised to ad­dress the grow­ing need for out­door re­lax­ation and of­fer­ing new fa­cil­i­ties in line with the chang­ing needs of the com­mu­ni­ties they serve. The en­tity re­cently opened three parks in Ward 58, Jan Hofmeyer, Re­gion F – Leeuw­bekkie Park, Cosmo Cir­cle Park and Katjiepier­ing Park. The mem­ber of the may­oral com­mit­tee for com­mu­nity devel­op­ment, Nonhlanhla Si­fumba, ward coun­cil­lor Alex Chris­tians and JCPZ board of di­rec­tors chair­per­son Edgar Nelu­vha­lani handed over the parks to the com­mu­nity. The up­graded fa­cil­i­ties fea­ture play equip­ment, rub­berised sur­faces, bol­lards, an out­door gym, fur­ni­ture, lit­ter bins, fenc­ing and safety sig­nage.

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