Johannesburg Metro Police. Picture: SUNDAY WORLD
Johannesburg Metro Police. Picture: SUNDAY WORLD

The City of Johannesburg has improved its shift systems for metro police and insourced security personnel to reduce fatigue and boost safety.

The new system started on Sunday for all Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) officers‚ as well as 1‚600 newly insourced security personnel.

In their previous shift system‚ officers had a day shift from 6am to 3.30pm; a night shift from 3pm to 11.30pm; and an all-night shift from 11.30pm to 7am. The new shift system provides for four days on and four days off‚ with 6am to 6pm day shifts, and 6pm and 6am night shifts.

According to JMPD chief David Tembe‚ officers and newly insourced security officials have already hit the ground running. "The number of hours remains the same as before‚ yet officers will have more days off. The previous system did not afford officers an opportunity to rest since they had to do three shifts before getting an off-day."

Tembe said it is imperative for officers to be well-rested to perform their work optimally. "You cannot expect tired and demotivated officers to do their job well."

The new shift system was agreed in May 2018 after long deliberations between the City of Johannesburg and organised labour. Councillor Ntombi Khumalo‚ MMC for group corporate and shared services‚ along with Councillor Michael Sun‚ MMC for public safety‚ issued a joint statement welcoming the revised shift system.

"After receiving countless requests, as far back as 2002 from officers regarding the previous shift system‚ we decided to listen‚" said Khumalo and Sun. "Our intentions were to improve the working conditions and wellbeing of the officers without compromising the safety of residents.

"Through extensive and lengthy engagements with all stakeholders‚ including organised labour in the local labour forum meetings‚ we have been able to change the ‘six days on and three days off’ method to a ‘four days on and four days off’ method‚ which gives officers a balanced number of work days and rest days."