Given the bloated, inefficient state of centralised government, it is surprising that The Mercury (January 15) endorses the nationalisation of road traffic police.
Road traffic regulation is one of the functions of the provincial government as specified in section 104 (1) (b) with reference to Schedule 4 of the constitution. Centralising control at the expense of local or provincial autonomy should be strongly resisted. Besides, the reasoning that nationalising streamlines functions and eliminates inefficiencies is not borne out by experience.
Just as we have seen the unnecessary establishment of a ministry of electricity with no apparent improvement in supply, the likely outcome of nationalising traffic police will be the establishment of a separate ministry, with all the bloated costs involved, to “oversee” its functioning.
Chipping away at provincial autonomy is the long-term strategy of the ANC which, as Marxist-Leninist ideology dictates, abhors the division of power. Centralising road traffic regulation suits the ANC as it removes an area of control from the despised DA administration of the Western Cape.
The fact that the Cosatu-affiliated Popcru trade union is agitating for nationalised control over road traffic should signal the folly of such intentions. After all, the depleted, venal state of the SAP is in no small measure due to Popcru.