If you have a passion for serving others, want to uphold the law and enjoy working with people, a career as a Traffic Officer could be for you.
Traffic Officers are crucial and essential to safe community and country. They enforce the rules of the road and ensure that the various laws and systems are being used in an orderly and safe manner. Their main objective is to ensure that traffic is being conducted in a manner that is conducive to safety and does not lead to accidents and deaths.
Becoming a Traffic Officer takes a route that is slightly different to the conventional means of getting a qualification. Basically, this is how it works:
- You need to apply for a vacant position for a Traffic Officer. These can be found on government traffic websites and in the open media.
- You will then go through a recruitment process if you meet the requirements.
- If accepted, you will be placed in one of the governments approved education providers. It is only a yearlong study process.
- Once you’ve completed your studies, you will be placed in your job and will begin your career as a Traffic Officer.
As a Traffic Officer you’ll mostly be on the road (in a car, on a motorcycle, or on foot), with some time spent doing admin or courtroom duty.
You can find more information on the Western Cape Government website.
You do not need specific subjects in order to apply, but you do need to meet the following criteria:
- South African citizenship
- Grade 12 certificate or equivalent
- No criminal record
- Code B driving license (manual transmission)
- Medical clearance for strenuous physical activity
- You must not be older than 35 years of age
When you apply for a vacancy, you will need to supply proof of the above in order to be accepted.
As long as you meet the requirements above, you do not need to worry about an APS.
The Minister of Transport has only approved 14 colleges. You’ll most likely be sent to the one nearest the job you applied for and where you live. The colleges are:
- Limpopo Traffic Training College (Polokwane, Limpopo)
- Boekenhoutkloof Traffic Training College (Pretoria, Gauteng)
- KZN Traffic Training College (Pietermaritzburg, KZN)
- Lengau Traffic Training College (Bloemfontein, Free State)
- Mangaung Traffic Training College (Bloemfontein, Free State)
- Gene Louw Traffic Training College (Cape Town, Western Cape)
- Durban Metro Police Department Academy (Durban, KZN)
- Johannesburg Metro Police Department Academy (Johannesburg, Gauteng)
- Tshwane Metro Police Department Academy (Pretoria, Gauteng)
- Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department Academy (Springs, Gauteng)
- Port Elizabeth Traffic Training College (Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape)
- Matjhabeng Traffic Training College (Welkom, Free State)
- Cape Town Metro Police Department Academy (Cape Town, Western Cape)
- Mpumalanga Traffic Training College (Hazyview, Mpumalanga)
You can’t qualify as a Traffic Officer without applying for a vacancy and being accepted into one of the above colleges. However, you can study Traffic Management courses through different FET colleges, private institutions or universities. Studying these may give you an advantage when you do apply for a vacancy.
To officially qualify as a Traffic Officer, you will need to acquire the certificate through doing the one year of studies through one of the 14 abovementioned approved colleges.
You will need to have the following skills to succeed as a Traffic Officer:
- communication is a must
- negotiation skills
- critical thinking
- knowing a second, third, etc language is a plus
Upon completing your one-year degree, you’ll work within the government’s traffic sector. You could also find work within the private security sector.
In the law enforcement realm you will be needed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Of course, you won’t be on duty permanently, but you will be expected to do your bit and work the less desired hours, in other words, the all-nighter shifts.
You would be put on a rotating schedule so you will take turns with your employees to work the various shifts.
As a Traffic Officer you can earn a median of R157 951 per annum, or R12 163 per month. This will vary largely depending on your ranking and management level.
As a Traffic Manager, you can earn anywhere form R263 792 per annum, or R21 983 per month. This information acquired from Lyceum College.
Once you’ve been accepted into the programme, some of the modules you will cover will be:
- Oral/signed communication
- Professional conduct and organisational ethics
- Handle and use a handgun
- Control traffic
- Apply knowledge of road traffic legislation pertaining to traffic officers, road users and vehicles.
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of anti-corruption issues in the Public Sector.
- Isolate and secure a scene
Along with learning the theory, you’ll be show practical implementation of the theory. Once you’ve graduated, you’ll work under supervision until you’re deemed to be at a satisfactory level to act independently and responsibly.
If you can be described as someone who is concerned for other peoples’ safety, you’re responsible and courageous, then you might consider joining the police academy as a Traffic or Metropolitan Police Officer.
During the festive season and long weekends the news is often abuzz with traffic reports, road accidents and the increased crime rate throughout the country. Although newsmakers place these issues on their agenda a few times a year, metropolitan and traffic police make public safety, policing and crime prevention their everyday job.