Why the Metro police will never get it right!

Peter Tuerk in Douglasdale writes:

Dear Fourways Review,

Once upon a time, there was a man with a family who was full of enthusiasm, energy and hope in his fellow mankind. He simply believed that he could make a positive change to the area he lived in, namely Douglasdale, by becoming involved in his community in areas such as his local police forum (where he chaired one of the sectors) and also with the political party in the area he believed could make a difference to the greater good in the area.

His commitment to making a difference became his life. He spent more time working on community matters than on his own business. Ensuring the area did not fall prey to grime, crime and other signs of urban decay was just one more time-consuming task, all in the name of doing the correct thing.

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Unfortunately, to save his marriage, his sanity, his business and his faith in mankind, this man decided to step away from his involvement in the community and get on with his normal life. When necessary, he stuck his head in the ground, as ostriches do, to pretend everything is hunky dory.

Recently he noticed more and more illegal advertisements appearing on the streets around Douglasdale. Knowing what the previous outdoor advertising by-laws state, he decided to check if the by-laws had been amended for mobile outdoor advertising billboards and transit signs that are just dumped wherever the driver feels fit.

Well, this was a very rude and stark reminder of why the Johannesburg Metro police is such a lost cause. From a call to the City Of Joburg (086 056 2874) where they could not help and referred me to what was supposed to be the by-law division of the JMPD (011 375 5918) which turned out to be the Freeway division, who then referred me to (011 490 1630) who then referred me to (011 490 1666) who then referred me back to (011 490 1630). After I started to express my dissatisfaction I was referred to ‘Director Mengeliso’ on 011 490 1707, which is a line that is never answered.

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The phones were answered unintelligibly, with ‘what do you want’ and ‘we cannot help you’ and as it stands I am none the wiser about my question: Have the bylaws changed and have the Metro police approved mobile billboards that are parked along roadsides in residential areas, adding to the urban decay.

It is not hard to understand why people do not bother to report anything to the Metro police. Would you voluntarily bash your head against a tree or repeatedly hit your thumb with a hammer?

The City, Mayor Herman Mashaba and Michael Sun, in their wisdom, implemented new systems. Sadly no system in the world can fix the problems if the people behind the systems cannot do the job and have no real interest in their jobs other than receiving a paycheck.

Recruiting a further 1 500 Metro police members into a system that doesn’t work is going to be a very expensive exercise, all funded by our taxes.

Before adding 1 500 new members, the existing Metro police should be totally overhauled. Every Metro police member should reapply for their position!

It really is sad to see the very same incompetence and inefficiency that destroyed the souls of so many people, who have over the years stopped trying to make a difference, is as embedded as ever.

I submitted letters to Fourways Review seven years ago, addressing exactly the same issues you are writing about in 2017!

Perhaps Fourways Review can get an official statement from the Metro police on revisions to the by-laws that allow trailer advertising so that when the outdoor ad companies say they have approval and a permit to park their signs on public pavements, we know that is not the case and that the company is contravening the by-laws as stated in the current by-laws.


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Robyn Kirk

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