Registered car guards now wear custom-embroidered reflective jackets

The first number of registered car guards in Swakopmund received their new, custom-made reflective jackets this week. This marks the start of a new system by which the conduct of car guards will be regulated in Swakopmund.
At the same time informal traders, the so-called Makalani traders, will also be issued with unique reflective jackets soon and includes a unique number to be able to distinguish between bona fide traders and those disguising as traders in order to create opportunities to commit crimes.
The new neon-green reflective jackets, carrying a unique number as well as the municipal logo, were issued to the first six car guards operating in Sam Nujoma Avenue on Wednesday. The jackets were sponsored by the Swakopmund Paintball Centre, the Coastal Tourism Association of Namibia, Abenteuer Afrika Safari and one anonymous sponsor.
“We are really grateful for the sponsorship and I am sure this will make a big difference”, said Swakopmund’s traffic chief Melvin Cloete as he handed over the jackets.
In the past, car guards in Swakopmund were employed by a company with whom they had to share their profits. Town Council abolished this system mainly due to non-compliance by these companies.
Instead, car guards have to register at the Swakopmund municipality where they are each issued with a unique number. According to Cloete 85 car guards have registered so far, while the applications of a further 76 people have been approved. To qualify as a car guard, persons must present a police clearance amongst others to prove he has not been prosecuted for any criminal activities in the past.
Once the guards are issued with these reflective jackets, they are assigned to a certain area where they operate. Car guards not wearing the new, embroidered reflective jackets should be reported to the Swakopmund traffic department and will be treated as illegally engaged as car guards.
“We also agreed to issue so-called Makalani hawkers with unique reflective jackets”, said Peter van Ginkel of the Swakopmund Paintball Centre to namib times. These additional reflective jackets, which will be orange in color, as well as the remaining car guard jackets will be issued soon.
Should a Makalani hawker be found harassing a person or be under the influence of alcohol, he can be easily identified with his unique number and be reported to the traffic department.
All custom-made jackets cost close to N$32 000, van Ginkel revealed.
On the picture: The first batch of the new, embroidered reflective jackets for Swakopmund car guards were issued this week. Each car guard will have a unique number displayed on the jacket. Photos by Erwin Leuschner

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