• It is impossible to understand how parents can physically abuse and neglect their own children, and yet it happens. We remind our readers about what child abuse entails in a comprehensive article published in Servamus: May 2020.

    It is impossible to understand how parents can physically abuse and neglect their own children, and yet it happens. We remind our readers about what child abuse entails in a comprehensive article published in Servamus: May 2020.

  • The Springs Monster case is probably one of the worst child abuse cases in recent years. We bring you the first part of this crime series in the May 2020 issue of Servamus. A shocking, must-read for all.

    The Springs Monster case is probably one of the worst child abuse cases in recent years. We bring you the first part of this crime series in the May 2020 issue of Servamus. A shocking, must-read for all.

  • Bullying and cyberbullying are realities for children across the world. We explain the details of both types in detail and what could be done to identify and prevent it. Be informed and read both articles in Servamus: May 2020

    Bullying and cyberbullying are realities for children across the world. We explain the details of both types in detail and what could be done to identify and prevent it. Be informed and read both articles in Servamus: May 2020

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Ever considered your health and fitness to be a “road hazard”?
Compiled by Annalise Kempen

A lot is being said and written about vehicle fitness and road-worthiness, but what about your own fitness to drive a vehicle? Are you mentally and physically up for the challenge of driving in rush-hour traffic amidst lunatics, slogs, inexperienced and even illegal drivers? If you are a long-distance driver who has to concentrate for hours on end or an emergency worker who has no choice but to rush to scenes, the impact on your health may be even worse.

When we think about driver fitness, the typical aspects that come to mind are that a driver must be able to see properly, and that she or he must not be tired or under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating substance. But what about physical fitness? I am sure that if our physical fitness was a prerequisite for driver fitness, the vast majority of drivers would fail the test. Yet, Arrive Alive mentions that the physical fitness of a driver is often overlooked. In this sense, physical fitness refers to the general fitness of the driver in terms of his or her state of health and well-being as well as specific fitness, which is a task-orientated definition based on a person’s ability to perform specific aspects of sports or occupations (Arrive Alive, Nd).

In the USA, truck drivers who have a BMI (body mass index) higher than 25 (which means that they are overweight) are off work 13 times longer for a worker’s compensation claim than an injured driver with a healthy BMI. In addition, obese truck drivers have twice the crash rate per mile (1.6 km) compared to healthy drivers (Tarrell, 2016).

Professional driver fitness
In the United States of America (USA), strict guidelines are issued for truck, motor carrier and related vehicle drivers to rank and compare carriers based on safety. One of the categories used is the driver fitness compliance Behaviour Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC). In this sense, fitness does not only refer to being fit to drive, but also whether drivers are properly trained as well as mentally and physically fit to drive. This is applicable to any individual, business or organisation that operates commercial motor vehicles. Some of the measurements and events that are considered to calculate a carrier’s driver fitness BASIC include:

  • The results of roadside inspections and the number of violations;
  • the total number of crashes, BASIC violations and adverse safety events;
  • the overall severity of incidents, violations and crashes; and
  • when the events occurred - recent events weigh more heavily on a driver’s score than older ones (Truck Insurance Quotes, 2019).

In order to improve the risks which drivers face employers should focus on the following:

  • Providing education and training about drivers’ health and fitness. Hosting regular
  • sessions about the importance of wellness and eating healthy and regularly while on the road, can improve drivers' physical health;
  • ensuring that all drivers have the ability to communicate in English, even if not fluently. It will help them to understand traffic signs or communicate
  • with the authorities and others in an understandable way; and
  • tracking and checking document expiry dates: both driving licences as well as professional driving permits need to be renewed every five years.

Once AARTO becomes operational, employers should also keep track of any demerit points for their employees which can impact on whether their driving licence is suspended. (Refer to the article published on pp 18-21 in Servamus: January 2020 about AARTO.)

Given the impact of obesity on driver fitness in the USA, Tarrell (2016) notes that truck drivers have to be screened by a health professional on the National Registry of Medical Examiners. One of the issues that is a serious health concern is sleep apnea and measures must be found to test and deal with long-distance drivers. She has the following suggestions for transport companies on boosting wellness for truck (or other long-distance) drivers by:

  • Explaining the importance of the drivers’ wellness - not only on an individual level but also for the success of the company;
  • providing tips in terms of healthy snacks for drivers such as which fruit and veggies are easy to travel with over long distances rather than eating
  • meals that are high in carbohydrates or sugar;
  • the importance of fitting in exercises despite spending long hours on the road as well as of stopping, resting and stretching regularly;
  • tips on boosting drivers’ emotional health;
  • making driver safety and health a challenge and getting drivers’ buy-in by offering incentives such as cash, company merchandise or a holiday for
  • drivers who commit to eating healthy, exercising and losing weight. Drivers who are active on social media can share their healthy habits on the
  • company’s special social media page which can also be used to track their involvement; and
  • reiterating the message of #KeepingHealthy through communication; in staff rooms and on social media.

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[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: January 2020. The rest of the article looks at what some of the prerequisites are for when a driver should obtain a professional driving permit; general driver fitness and aspects that could negatively impact on drivers’ eyesight and visibility. If you are interested in reading the rest of the article send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact the Servamus office at tel: (012) 345 4660/22 for more information.]

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Servamus - May 2020

It was a difficult start to the 2020 school year. In Gauteng, several learners had died in various tragic accidents.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
When the news broke in January 2020 about a schoolboy who had drowned during a school orientation camp in North West, many parents were impacted by the fact that something similar could so easily happen to their own children.
By Annalise Kempen
It boggles one's mind when the innocence of a child meets the severity of a violent crime like murder.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Do you realise that bullying is a form of child abuse? It is so serious that the legislature specifically mentions it in the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 where “abuse”, in relation to a child, means any form of harm or ill-treatment deliberately inflicted on a child, and includes bullying by another child.
By Annalise Kempen

Pollex - May 2020

Read More - S V Garland 2019 (2) SACR 162 (WCC)
Mr Garland, the accused, is currently approximately 26 years old. On 24 June 2011, when he was 17 years old, he was apprehended in his mother’s residence in the town of Montagu*, for the unlawful possession of a small quantity of cannabis (dagga).
Read More - Msongelwa V Minister of Police (112/2012) [2020] ZAECMHC 10 (17 March 2020) (EMC)
The plaintiff (Afrikaans: “eiser”), Mr Nkululeko Msongelwa, was arrested on 7 August 2011 at a tavern in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, where he and his friends were enjoying themselves.
In recent years, South Africa has had its fair share of disasters (Afrikaans: “rampe”).

Letters - May 2020

My chains are gone I've been set free My God, my Saviour has ransomed me And like a flood, His mercy rains Unending love, Amazing Grace
Read More Maj-Gen Tertius Geldenhuys (7 May 1955 to 14 April 2020)
The South African Police Service mourns the tragic loss of Maj-Gen Tertius Geldenhuys who passed away on 14 April 2020.
Oom Piet Kleu, a 94-year-old former provincial road traffic inspector, invited by Daniel Seevaraj, a former police member who also became a prominent senior Pietermaritzburg road traffic inspector, graced our presence at our last meeting of retired police officers at Chistlehurst Academics and Arts.
Read More Huldeblyk - Jan Willem (Toffie) Jansen van Vuuren (6 Januarie 1952 - 18 Maart 2020)
”Dis die enigste manier om vooruit te gaan in die lewe - studeer, studeer, studeer … Studies gee vir mens kennis, en kennis is mag.”
May Magazine Cover

Servamus' Mission

Servamus is a community-based safety and security magazine for both members of the community as well as safety and security practitioners with the aim of increasing knowledge and sharing information, dedicated to improving their expertise, professionalism and service delivery standards. It promotes sound crime management practices, freedom of speech, education, training, information sharing and a networking platform.