Get your impounded phone back

2015-10-27 06:00

Motorists whose cellphones were impounded before October last year can get them back for half the price, but only for a limited time.

As the City of Cape Town’s traffic service prepares to auction the first 500 impounded cellphones, the City’s safety and security directorate has decided to give motorists one last opportunity to reclaim their devices before the hammer falls.

Officials have impounded thousands of cellphones in terms of the City’s traffic bylaw since its introduction in July 2012, in instances where motorists have been caught driving while holding a cellphone or other communication device in their hand(s) or with any part of their body.

Currently, there are about 6000 cellphones in storage at the City’s traffic pound in Ndabeni – excluding devices that have yet to be transferred to the pound from the various areas.

By law, the City is allowed to sell any impounded property within three months of the impoundment date. However, there has been a delay with the disposal of cellphones, primarily because the City had to wait for the processes relating to the fines attached to the contravention to run their full course in the courts, as well as due to the need to remove personal data before the device can be sold on auction.

A service provider has since been appointed to clear data from the cellphones, which means that the first auction is likely to take place by the end of the year.

Motorists whose devices were impounded between 1 July 2012 and 30 September last year will be charged a reduced impoundment release fee of R550 should they wish to reclaim their property. They are not required to pay the accompanying fine to reclaim their phones.

The offer is valid until the end of November. The discount does not apply to impoundments after September last year; these offenders will have to pay the full impoundment release fee of R1100.

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