Road crash data lost in migration

2012-10-19 00:00

A COMPUTER error within the Road Accident Management Corporation, government’s custodian of road accident data, has rendered almost 20 years of national road accident data unusable, sources claim.

The corporation is responsible for publishing official road accident statistics and holds official data on the location and circumstances of all fatal and non-fatal traffic accidents.

Several former RTMC officials told Media24 Investigations that data on non-fatal accidents was rendered unusable when it was migrated to a new database early this year without being backed up first, and that external experts were called in to assist in the reconstruction of the data.

The extent of the claimed data loss is unclear. Some insiders said the data was permanently lost, while others said the data would be possible to reconstruct over time.

RTMC spokesperson Ashref Ismail confirmed that “the RTMC crash stats have not been transferred from any one system to [another]. The stats are currently still being maintained on the existing system”.

“No crash data has been included in our annual report because the RTMC is finalising a comprehensive state of traffic safety report, which will be release to the public shortly.”

The RTMC latest annual report, states a “crash data recording system” was “taking longer than anticipated”, and that “data migration (is) in progress”.

The 2011-2012 annual report, released last week, does not contain a comprehensive provincial breakdown of road accident fatalities, as was the case in both preceding years’ annual reports.

Three insiders with direct knowledge said that earlier this year, following the migration to a new database, queries on the new database yielded accidents that took place in the years 2017 and in the 1940s. The actual accident database apparently contains data from the 1990s to the present.

The corporation’s accident data system has been dogged by controversy and was cited in the suspension and eventual dismissal of its previous CEO, Ranthoko Rakgoale.

At the time the corporation embarked on the current database, it had already incurred more than R48 million in fruitless and wasteful expenditure on a previous accident reporting system, developed by controversial IT contractor Lefatshe Technologies.

This contract was cancelled in 2010 after a board of inquiry, led by recently-appointed police commissioner Riah Phiyega, found that improper procurement processes were followed.

It was in the wake of this and irregular expenditure to the tune of R360 million that Rakgoale was suspended in April 2010. His employment was eventually terminated in December last year.

The corporation incurred a net deficit of R41 million in the past financial year, and in March this year its liabilities exceeded its assets by R203 million. The Auditor General noted that there was “significant doubt on [the RTMC’s] ability to operate as a going concern”.

• investigations@media24.com

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.