Contracts for officials acting as metro police in Nelson Mandela Bay will go under review from today as part of a legal process to ensure that the crime-fighting force receives permanent policing staff.
Confusion over an internal memo sent out by safety and security executive director Linda Mti earlier this week led officials to believe that the new crimefighting force would not operate.
However, acting city manager Johann Mettler said yesterday the memo was part of a legislated process requiring that all acting metro police jobs be reviewed quarterly.
“The review of acting positions is part of a prescribed process by which acting positions [must] be reviewed every three months. “[Most] may be extended. “Some may be replaced by others for a further three months.
“The idea is to [reach] a situation where all [staff] are permanently employed.”
Mettler said the process would not affect day-to-day policing of the metro and was a formality.
No permanent employees have yet been appointed, but since last month several adverts for metro police officials have been published.
The metro police force was launched outside the City Hall in May when then mayor Danny Jordaan announced a R225-million budget for the force and 78 letters of appointment were handed to acting metro police officers.
A memo from Mti, addressed to all staff, states that all acting metro police posts would “cease” from today.
The vague memo was sent to all safety and security staff on Tuesday with little explanation, which added to the confusion.
“A decision has been taken to review the acting of all staff and management appointed in the metro police.
“The acting will be reviewed [so] that operation requirements and service delivery are met.”
The specialist police force is mandated to perform crime prevention, bylaw enforcement and traffic law enforcement.
Since May the unit has been plagued with labour disputes, infighting, training glitches, the sacking of metro police chief Pinkie Mathabathe, and several traffic officials being suspended.