The document includes a variety of rules about the colour and length of clothing, as well as the type of footwear and hairstyles that are not allowed.
— Shirts must be khaki in colour, and must not be frayed or torn;
— Personal items must not be carried in the pockets of the shirt, but pens are permitted;
— Undershirts or vests must be v-neck or crew neck in white and must not be visible;
— Uniform trousers must be khaki in colour;
— Trousers must not be too wide or too narrow, and must be long enough to cover shoelace holes;
— the length of skirts must be one handwidth below the knee;
— When a skirt is worn, the officer must wear pantyhose or stockings in a nude colour;
— A belt worn on trousers must be brown leather and “one and one-half inch wide with the appropriate finish buckle”;
— Hats must have the lower edge of the sweatband located one inch above the eyebrows;
— Footwear with buckles must not be worn;
— Shoes or boots must be plain toe, either vinyl or leather, and brown;
— Shoes must be cleaned and polished;
— The heels of the shoes and boots must not be over one inch in height. Shoes without heels must not be worn with the uniform;
— Brown socks must be worn;
— Officers must have a brown gun belt;
— No dangling earrings are permitted;
— Female officers with pierced ears can wear small post earrings;
— Excessive jewellery must not be worn;
— A female officer may not carry a handbag with her when on duty;
— No hair is allowed to extend over the collar;
— Female officers should have their hair pinned up;
— Beards and ponytails are not permitted;
— Wigs or hairpieces may be worn “only to cover natural baldness” or to cover physical disfiguration;
— A moustache is permitted but should not cover or touch the ears or extend below the upper lip.
The 449-page document also includes rules on standard equipment that should be carried in an officer’s vehicle during the patrol of national roads. These include;
— heavy duty gloves;
— public address system;
— collapsible traffic signs;
— first aid kit;
— chalk or spray paint;
— fire extinguisher;
— traffic cones; and
— a spot lamp.
Road Traffic Management Corporation spokeswoman Thato Mosena could not be reached for comment.
RTMC deputy director general Gilberto Martins was quoted in The Star as saying: “We want to create a 21st century traffic officer… To do that, we’re really going to have to get ourselves some serious norms and standards.”
It reported that the document was gazetted last week in at least seven of nine provinces, with a 30-day window period for comment.