Gauteng licensing racket exposed

2012-12-20 08:47
Picture: Sapa

Picture: Sapa

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Pietermaritzburg - Thousands of vehicles registered in KwaZulu-Natal are not roadworthy and were fraudulently cleared in Gauteng, an investigation by the department of transport has revealed.

The department found in its investigation into the activities of private testing stations in Gauteng that lasted over 18 months that 34 000 vehicles were registered in KwaZulu-Natal, but had obtained their roadworthy certificates in Gauteng through bribery and corruption.

The vehicles were deemed unroadworthy in KZN and were then taken to testing stations in Gauteng. In many cases, the certificates were issued without the vehicle being presented. Many of them are used for public transport.

Many used as taxis

The department said it had already closed down four private vehicle licensing stations in Johannesburg following the discovery of widespread fraud and corruption.

Department of transport director general George Mahlalela said that although he did not have the exact figures, many of the vehicles involved were used as taxis.

“The laws in KwaZulu-Natal have been very strict, so many vehicles find it impossible to register there if they are not in a roadworthy condition. They come to Gauteng and in most cases the vehicle does not even go there [for testing]; they just send the papers,” he said.

Mahlalela said stations involved in the fraud had all been closed down and the investigation report would be handed over to the police for criminal prosecution.

Owners of the vehicles concerned would also be prosecuted.

Zinhle Mngomezulu, of the KZN department of transport, said the department would pull off every vehicle found to be unroadworthy.

Roadblocks

“Every car is checked in our extensive roadblocks and if that car is one of those that got its roadworthy certificate illegally, the car will lose its disc.”

Mduduzi Njongwe of the SA National Taxi Council, Santaco, said the council was not aware of such activities. “We would not deny that any of our members are involved. We would like the department to enlighten us about it so we could educate our members.”

Arnold van der Linde, executive chairperson of insurer IntegriSure, said the clampdown was an important step.

“It is critical that we deal with the issue of unroadworthy vehicles, and minibuses are among the biggest culprits. Thousands of South Africans’ lives are lost needlessly due to road traffic accidents that could so easily be avoided.”

Read more on:    santaco  |  department of transport  |  pietermaritzburg  |  johannesburg  |  transport  |  corruption
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