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2008-06-25: Joburg City Condems Traffic Disruptions

THE City of Johannesburg strongly condemns Wednesday afternoon’s traffic blockage on the freeway and in the city centre by some members of the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) and apologises for the inconvenience that was caused to all road users.

This blockage happened after a meeting at which feedback on salary related matters was given to JMPD staff by the City’s labour relations at the request of South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU). Reports indicate that some JMPD staff members were unhappy with certain aspects of the feedback then took to the street and disrupted traffic.

The South African Police Services were called to assist in clearing the road and had to use rubber bullets after appeals not to block the road were ignored. An unconfirmed number of JMPD officers were injured in the process.

Mavela Dlamini, City Manager of Johannesburg commends the majority of JMPD officers who remained true to their calling by assisting in maintaining law and order during the skirmish. Without joint action and co-operation of the JMDP and SAPS, he said traffic would have not been normalized within a reasonable time.

Dlamini called for calm and expressed the City’s commitment to finding a speedy and amicable resolution to the matter. In support of this principle, he has called for an urgent meeting tomorrow (Thursday) morning between SAMWU leadership, JMPD and City management.

The City is calling on all JMPD officers to return to duty and ensure that service delivery is not compromised while discussions to finding a lasting solution are underway.