Keep old receipts to prove you’ve paid your traffic fines

2013-07-15 00:00

KEEP THOSE TRAFFIC FINE RECEIPTS

BE warned: you are still liable for outstanding fines going back 10 years and more. So whatever you do, keep your receipts once payment is made. In fact, keep them in the family safe.

The Greytown Children’s Home received a letter from the eThekwini Municipality, informing the institution that it had outstanding traffic fines, but that the home was in luck as there was a 50% reduction on fines.

Indignant administrators at the home were, however, shocked: their records showed they had received a fine in 2011 and that it had been paid.

An inquiry was sent to the municipality, seeking clarity on the matter. They learnt that a second offence, according to the eThekwini database, was committed on September 21, 2005 — more than seven years ago!

The administrators asked if the eThekwini Municipality’s records were in such shambles that they cannot trace that the traffic fine of March 1, 2011 was paid on July 22, 2011, what assurance can they give that the traffic fine of September 21, 2005 was not paid years ago?

None, it seems.

eThekwini metro police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Eugene Msomi said notices were sent to offenders who had outstanding fines, regardless of the age of the fines. He said the Durban Metro has no authority to withdraw fines. It can only withdraw fines based on a directive from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). Msomi said there was no prescription on fines issued in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act.

WATCH THIS SPACE

THERE are persistent municipal problems that never seem to go away — such as the illegal truck stop in New England Road, which is reaching hazardous proportions. For residents in the vicinity, it is mind-boggling that law enforcement authorities drive past the trucks without lifting a finger. When the matter was first highlighted, Msunduzi Municipality said there was a shortage of manpower in the traffic department, and the matter would be tackled once more traffic officers are appointed.

Fair enough, and we wait for this to happen shortly. However, the situation seems to be getting out of hand.

Miranda Cruywagen wrote to The Witness, saying that it was unbelievable that the traffic police, who apparently love to have their regular coffee at the nearby Spar, had not done anything about the illegal truck stop.

“When my husband and I were coming from the mall this evening, there was no space for cars to pass as the eight-ton trucks and super links were taking up all the space.

“The question is really: Must someone end up dead before something is done?” Cruywagen asked.

She added: “The traffic officers are camped out on Hesketh Drive almost on a daily basis, fining people that are rushing to drop kids at school and home because they are slightly over the speed limit. Yet they cannot sort out a serious problem that is putting people’s lives at risk.

“I phoned the traffic police and there was no one to help. Eventually I phoned 10111. It remains to be seen if something was done.”

Witness Warriors has also alerted both the Msundsuzi Municipality and the Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) to the public’s frustration over this serious road safety problem. We will be watching that space on New England Road to see if anything gets done.

Wait and See

THERE are a number of other wait-and-see issues on the Witness Warrior radar. Angie van der Reit said there was a pipe burst in December 2012 in Chase Valley Road. It was fixed, but the hole was not sealed with tar.

The result is a large pothole that is growing in size at the corner of Chase Valley and Regan roads. All Van der Riet’s efforts to get the municipality to sort out the problem have fallen on deaf ears.

Asked about the pothole, Msunduzi’s Nqobile Madonda said the roads department was aware of the pothole and that its repair was scheduled for completion shortly.

Another wait-and-see issue is the ongoing saga of rates refunds. The good news is that the municipality is concerned about the problem. It has since informed Witness Warriors that their finance section was in the process of introducing new procedures to handle deposit payments and refunds. We will wait and see!

MSUNDUZI Municipality will no longer be accepting cheques for payment due

to the high incidence of fraudulent and dishonoured payments.

An exception will only be made for bank-guaranteed and attorney’s trust cheques.

For more clarity, please e-mail: Nokukhanya. Gumede@msunduzi.gov.za or call 033 392 2138.

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