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Eastern Cape government officials rack up over R1-million in traffic fines

Nov 28, 2018
Eastern Cape government officials rack up over R1-million in traffic fines

Eastern Cape Provincial government officials have racked up over R1 million in traffic fines with state-owned vehicles over the past three years, showing a complete disregard for the laws of the road, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape revealed.

"In a response to a written question, Eastern Cape Transport MEC, Weziwe Tikana, said officials driving state vehicles ran up fines totalling R1,141-million from April 2016 to the beginning of November this year," said Marshall von Buchenroder (MPL), DA Eastern Cape Shadow MEC for Transport.

"The reality is that these fines boil down to fruitless and wasteful expenditure by the departments, and shows complete disregard for law and order."

He said that MEC Tikana revealed that in the 2016/17 financial year, fines of R394 050 were incurred. In the 2017/18 financial year, this increased to R406 737, and from April to October, there was already R339,900 worth of additional fines accumulated.

'Traffic fines issued to government fleet if driver is unidentified'

"MEC Tikana explained that, as traffic officers were not always able to identify the driver of the vehicle, the fines would be issued to Government Fleet Management Services. GFMS would then try to identify the driver of the vehicle, who would then be liable to pay the fine," von Buchenroder added.

"Where the driver could not be identified, the fines are billed for the account of the respective department, who would then have to recoup the costs from their employees.

"Tikana also revealed that GFMS owes the Road Traffic Management Agency an additional R39,993 for infringements that had been cleared from the e-natis system, as these were blocking the GFMS account and were hindering the licensing of GFMS vehicles."

He said that with departmental budgets under pressure, "this wasteful expenditure amount is irresponsible and an additional expense the province should not be footing at this time".

Von Buchenroder said that he will be submitting follow up questions to the MEC to get clarity on which departments are at fault, and, where possible, which drivers are repeat offenders.

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