Joburg motorists in a panic over fine glitch

2012-04-04 09:26

Johannesburg - The omission of a decimal comma in the Johannesburg Metro Police Department's traffic fine issuing system has resulted in huge shocks for many motorists, according to a report on Wednesday.

Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) deputy registrar Sherman Amos said motorists should not panic if they found themselves confronted with fines of, for example, R50 000 or R300 000.

According to Beeld newspaper, many traffic offenders who recently lodged complaints about the validity of their fines were subsequently issued with a notification stating that their complaints had been rejected, and that they had to pay up.

One motorist who initially queried a R750 fine for driving between 91km/hour and 95km/h in an 80km/h zone was told he had to pay a R75 000 fine within 32 days.

Amos said that the RTIA had taken up the issue with the Johannesburg metro police, which was aware of the problem, and had said they were trying to rectify it.

Meanwhile, The Star reported that a Bryanston woman has been slapped with a R50 000 traffic penalty fine for apparently not paying her speeding fines in full.

Wendy Alberts, CEO of the Restaurant Association of SA, told The Star that she had received 3 speeding fines in January. As the fines came late, she paid the 50% reduced rate offered for payment within 32 days.

So she paid R250 for each of the three R500 fines.

Soon afterwards she received a notice from the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act - or Aarto - telling her to send proof she had paid her fines.

She also had to submit forms saying she had paid the fines as soon as she had received them.

She was then informed that her representation on the first of the three fines had been rejected and she now had to pay a penalty fine of R50 000 within 32 days.

The RTMC said her case would be investigated.

Has something similar happened to you? Tell us your story

  • VaMbozha - 2012-04-04 09:36

    Mine was R500 so I can pay R5, huuh what a relief

      Ariado - 2012-04-04 12:49

      No, its 50C you need to pay.

      mihaip007 - 2012-04-04 15:05

      this is byond funny! I am SURE they are on drugs or something! First, the Electricity in Jhb, Now the traffic, next will be the e-toll! Gauteng Province has now changed truly into Gangster's Paradise. We have Gangsters running the show.

      bluzulu - 2012-04-04 15:20

      One decimal point would make it R50 not R5.

      Marion - 2012-04-04 15:25

      bluzulu - it is a decimal comma that is missing, not one decimal point.

      Pieter - 2012-04-04 15:30

      you should all learn to read - VaMbozga is correct in stating that R500 should be R5. You just make yourself look stupid.

      Ahmed - 2012-04-05 03:48

      look at were we heading R50...R500...R5000...R50000 woza zimbabwe woza.. lol

      colin.dovey - 2012-04-05 08:15

      What is the point? - decimal of course :-)

  • Zing - 2012-04-04 09:37

    And how will they prevent this from happening to e-tags, and automatically deducting R5000 from someone's account? DON'T GET AN E-TAG!

      deon.fourie - 2012-04-04 10:01

      Waking up to that nightmare one day is a lesson I wouldn't wish upon any hard working person. I do however think that the e-tolling system will be much more robust, at least, until BEE contracting and tendering for future "upgrades" messes it up as well... which is exactly what I think happened here.

      NrGx - 2012-04-04 10:06

      these guys cant get a municipal account, motoring fine etc correct. Yet they want my BANK ACCOUNT to debit for e-tolls. I THINK NOT

      mlucejko - 2012-04-04 10:17

      Sounds to me like we'll soon get more "Refugees" coming to the Western Cape !!

      karen.inward - 2012-04-04 10:23

      You certainly have a point.

      mihaip007 - 2012-04-04 15:06

      agreed on the no e-toll tags. they are waiting for the moment when they can switch on the "opps - it was a mistake"-switch.

      Adam - 2012-04-04 16:44

      Maybe some hacker is showing them what would happen if every Gauteng road user suddenly had their accounts debited by R5000 or even R50000. I mentioned this last night.

      Alf - 2012-04-05 07:10

      Exactly right! In particular if it involves Metro Cops! They make up the laws as thewy bumble along. This is one unit that despaerately needs proper training, starting with their boss! E-tags are a bit NO unless you want the Cops to empty your bank account!

  • deon.fourie - 2012-04-04 09:40

    *facepalm* All these billing issues, from Municipal to Traffic Departments and yet, some idiots still registered for e-tolling and gave their account details to the Government. Man oh man, I wonder how well those people sleep at night? The system is crumbling, there's no need to pay any fines or bills anymore. Just wait until the whole thing fails for good. We can start paying again once someone else takes the reigns from the ANC. If not, well, then let the anarchy continue.

      Steve - 2012-04-04 11:09

      To make matters worse, someone in the Traffic Dept apparently told Ms. Alberts that this was correct and there was no problem. How thick has one got to be to work there.,??????

      Marion - 2012-04-04 15:27

      deon.fourie - what I saw a couple of weeks ago is that the majority of the then 200 000 who had registered for eTags are corporates, banks, government departments etc., and not private individuals. A drop in the ocean.

      roger.pacey - 2012-04-04 16:22

      @Marion Quite right. If I understand correctly there are 4 million vehicles registered in Gauteng. That number would include minbus taxis (not more than 150 000) whose owners will not be paying. It is quite understandable that govt departments and others who would be paying the tax with other people's money would have no objections to registering.

  • kerrimg - 2012-04-04 09:51

    have they got the same systems as the water and lights in Johannesburg

      Karen - 2012-04-05 09:15

      Just the same ANC government...

  • Johnathon - 2012-04-04 09:53

    Imagine a R550 000 bill for e-tag. SANRAL has stated that all motorists will be liable for any toll charges accrued, unless they can personally prove to SANRAL that the charges levied where incorrect. Imagine 3 years of pain, sweat and tears to try and get this ba**sup correct. If sent SANRAL invoice through post for this ludicrous amount, just bin it. Feel just so sympathetic for e-tag fools and their approaching 3 year battles with burocracy. Solution simple: NEVER EVER BE SO IDIOTIC AND INCOMPETENT AS TO BE SCARED AND BULLIED INTO BUYING AN E-TAG.

      mihaip007 - 2012-04-04 15:10

      hence my comments about - "Gangsters run this show"

  • clinton.bowden1 - 2012-04-04 09:54

    I just think all these systems should be taken off line until all these glitches are sorted out. The public have suffered enough and more suffering is to follow because the goverment is NOT DOING ANYTHING to resolve it other than to allow to continue.

      deon.fourie - 2012-04-04 10:09

      Naah, I say keep these systems online (just DON'T PAY). Let their incompetence slowly digest themselves. I'm loving this actually. Just like old Julius shooting his mouth off, the Government is now starting to get pumelled with issues that simply cannot be ignored or shrugged off by taxpayers any longer and the news (and dissent) is spreading at the speed of light. We need it, so keep it coming.

  • Andrew - 2012-04-04 10:04

    Typical of this ANC metro with its ANC cadre deployments. Refer the billing crisis. A complete and utter shambles as is everything run by this morally corrupt ANC.

      Irene - 2012-04-04 10:22

      Too true. I haven't received a rates bill for over 4 months now and you can't even phone these cretins to sort it out because they don't answer their phones. Too pathetic for words. The incompetence of the ANC government knows no bounds.

  • Des Bothma - 2012-04-04 10:10


      Steve - 2012-04-04 11:12

      Testing what????? Our patience?????

  • Murechen - 2012-04-04 10:12

    Why cant this government do anything right?

      sandra.j.rennie - 2012-04-04 22:23

      Because they're thick as bricks !

  • PieterWolf Lombard - 2012-04-04 10:23

    Only one word... INCOMPETANCE......

      roberta.keeling - 2012-04-04 13:27

      @Le - if you haven't got anything intelligent to contribute, why don't you just be quiet and go away - far, far away! You bore us.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-04-04 14:23

      But Robert, you haven't contributed either??

      Kala - 2012-04-04 16:07

      Le is Like Lu - A troll

  • Sonja - 2012-04-04 10:28

    this multi billion BEE metro billing system is more wasted tax payers money.

  • ludlowdj - 2012-04-04 10:34

    Johannesburg is yet to get anything right in the "new south africa" (I'll start using CAPITAL LETTERS when the ANC earn them)

      roberta.keeling - 2012-04-04 13:30

      Another unintelligent comment by Le. Is it THAT difficult for you to come up with a contribution that refers to the story at hand? Crawl back into your little hole.

  • Jacqui - 2012-04-04 10:36

    You should see the trouble I am having to get the imperfect souls at the Television License department to finally understand that I am not who they say I am and that the person they think I am do not live here. Now they are sending the Inspectors to demand their R1750 in arrears. Oh Yippee, I can't wait, I am going to clobber them with my paid license and maybe kick a few ankles too. I have to relieve my frustration somewhere. Please give me a break.

      Angela - 2012-04-04 15:10

      Wow do I understand that one. I have had them on my back about my late Mothers TV lisence. When she died I emailed, faxed, sent letter and registered letter to advise them and included a certified copy of the death certificate. Had a call a couple of month later asked where she was! Told them I hoped she was in Heaven. Was asked "What is the address and telephone number!" Explained s-l-o-w-l-y she was dead. Would never be back again. Asked "Why". Explained again. Phone was put down. Shortly after a lawyers letter was sent to her. Then later a summons to appear in court. It is hell trying to sort this out. Have been told to leave it and just forget about it but am now like a damn Rottweiler and am determined that someone there is going to understand she is really dead.

      Marion - 2012-04-04 15:32

      On the subject of TV Licences. Why is it that one cannot buy a tv without presenting a TV licence, but you can buy a motor vehicle without providing a driver's licence? Saw that there have been a ton of accidents since that mine gave their employees fat payouts and many of them ran out and bought cars without being able to drive.

      Marion - 2012-04-04 15:33

      Angela my sister had the same problem after my mother died. Don't know what part of dead they don't understand.

  • Nadine - 2012-04-04 10:37

    got a bill for R75000.00 . Glad there is a funny side to it now , wnasnt so funny a few days ago though.

      Aaron - 2012-04-04 11:22

      I would say you have the legal basis to sue them for damages. Apart from the unnecessary psychological stress, who knows what other material damage this may have caused - e.g. selling shares, cashing in endowments, etc to raise this kind of money.

  • Anelda - 2012-04-04 10:41

    This happened to my father in law. He racked up a good half a million in fines this way. Needless to say, we had a good chuckle and wrote them a polite letter about the importance of punctuation.

      Aaron - 2012-04-04 11:22

      It's not funny. Sue them.

      Keith - 2012-04-07 05:00

      Can you continue your message and tell us what response you got from your 'polite' letter. None,I would guess, judging from the responses to my letters.

  • vmeiring1 - 2012-04-04 10:49

    But how can this happen?? Is it a machine that sends out the fine, or is there just brainless BEE people not knowing what they are doing? Surely a person with half a brain can see there is a mistake?

      Irene - 2012-04-04 11:09

      That's the whole problem, there isn't even a half brain amongst the lot of them. More than likely they were all rubbing their hands with glee that their figures were so high - more to steal.

      mihaip007 - 2012-04-04 15:17

      I have a question that no one seems to have: WHO HAS SUPPLIED THIS SOFTWARE TO THESE DEPARTMENTS? Who won these tenders? If the SOFTWARE is the cause, one can simply investigate in less than half an hour: Is the software properly configured? If not - who did the configuration? Has ANYONE proof-read or TESTED the software? Perform Unit tests etc? What is going on here? WHO is to be blamed? and if this one oak needed counseling for a spit or whatever, then what should all of us who get CRAZY amounts to pay "or else" then ask for?

  • Aaron - 2012-04-04 11:04

    You cannot make this kind of incompetence up. Especially in the case of the Bryanston woman who, when she phoned to query this, was told that the amount was correct and was probably so high because she drives a BMW. I don't think it's good enough to just say "Oh sorry, we had a glitch with the decimal point". They have caused panic and shock to the people that received these outrageous demands and should be severely sanctioned for it. When the authorities make the law idiotic they run the risk of ultimately causing anarchy, because nobody bothers any more. This is one primary reason why the traffic in cities in neighbouring African states has just become a free for all.

  • magomarele - 2012-04-04 11:17

    The idiots still insist I owe them R13000 on traffic fines. They sent me SMS late last year, but I haven't received the alledged fined over the registered mail. The other JHB department fails to sort out our electricity and water bill. They keep billing up exobitant amounts but they never took meter readings from our complex, and they admitted they can't take the readings because they don't have resources. Why charge us for something you don't know then?

      TaniaSandraSteyn - 2012-04-04 12:00

      My sister has a water bill totalling R122 000, including fines. It is 3 years later, and the circus continues. No one wants to take responsibility and sort it out. That's why it's best to do your own meter readings, and phone them in.

      Marion - 2012-04-04 15:36

      Tania - I have heard that even if you phone them in it doesn't help.

      Marion - 2012-04-04 15:37

      Oh yes, our gas meter is photographed so why can't they do the same for electricity and water?

  • Phalo - 2012-04-04 11:43

    It looks like there is nowhere to runfor us civilians in Gauteng. How on earth could they allow something like this to happen?? I am not surprised anyway seeong the level of incompetency at the municipal entities countrywide. The sad thing though is that a company like DiData is always associated with municipal IT systems yet they are doing so dismally. Why can't the government revert back to the pre-1994 skills base and systems and then get credible people to upgrade properly by following proper SDLC approaches?? This is so sad. I have a R40000 electricity bill accumulated over three months and R13000 in speed fines and all along my protestations are ignored. What can we as civilians do because the "masses" will still vote for "the liberation" movement? (Yes liberation 18 years after liberation. That's why they can't even spell Cavendish in Yeoville)

  • munyaradzi.ncube - 2012-04-04 12:06

    Then i will have to sell my car in order for me to raise the fine of R150 000! What a joke!

      Marion - 2012-04-04 15:38

      Sell your car to pay the fine. Pawn your car to buy petrol at the current rates.

  • Thomas - 2012-04-04 12:23

    we should refuse to vote!!!!!

      Pappa - 2012-04-04 12:28

      THAT WOULD NEVER WORK cause there will always be those ignorant enough to vote for the ruling party becasuse of parties and handouts to make lives better yet the promises they made mnay years ago have never come to fruition.... "eish, what would my ancestors say if i didnt vote???"

  • Arno - 2012-04-04 13:18

    Le, What a sad guy you are! trying to get attention on a news network. I think you should go to a website that discusses depression, low self esteem and general stupidity, sort those things out first and then you're more than welcome to come and join us again okay.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-04-04 14:25

      Stop feeding the troll, they will go away..

  • Keith - 2012-04-04 14:35

    In the Eastern Free State the Thabo Mafutsanyana 'Supermunicipality' had no idea how much each business should have paid so they issued summonses for amounts of hundreds of thousands of Rands to thousands of businesses. In my case, they used one lawyer then changed to another, and I have two summonses for R550 000.00 each, when my monthly contribution never exceeded R40.00. And you people are worried about a paltry few hundred Rands. And I am not sure whether I owe them anything at all.

      Zing - 2012-04-04 14:50

      Just imagine how dark your ordeal would have been if they had your bank details . .

      Keith - 2012-04-04 18:52

      My bank balance was a bit less than a million Rand.

      Rudi - 2012-04-04 19:27

      Only R1000000? Shame.

  • Marion - 2012-04-04 15:24

    That is why I always keep the date stamped envelopes for documents that arrive late and have a deadline.

  • - 2012-04-04 15:46

    Wow thank God i live in the Cape where the DA is in control and we have no of that sh,,, here.

      Tammy - 2012-04-05 06:18

      Not exactly true,metrorail has ripped thousands of people off with train tickets this month and refusing to refund us.Okay DA isnt in control of metrorail but Cape Town also has its problems.

  • gavin.wendy - 2012-04-04 16:16

    Glad I was not the only one with a R150 000 fine. So when are they planning on fixing the problem before or after the inflated fines have been paid or a warrant of arrest has been issued?

  • Templar - 2012-04-04 16:37

    I have been residing in Gauteng for close on 23 years, I have yet to pay a single speed fine sent to me through the post. Throw it away people.

  • Carry - 2012-04-04 16:58


  • Louis - 2012-04-04 18:12

    Imagine the e-Tolling fiasco ahead. These idiots my, my, what a circus

  • Eish - 2012-04-04 18:45

    Eish! *face palm*

  • Tendy Nedombs - 2012-04-04 20:50

    Sounds like that is a money making municipality or some unskilled/untrained clerks are sitting behind the computers and punch those figures with their long fake nails. Shame on them.

  • Robert - 2012-04-04 22:14

    Well, most failed maths in matric , so a decimal coma, is more appropriate than a comma

  • Michael - 2012-04-05 06:52

    I believe what our "authorities" are wanting is cash payment for all bills and fines. So - get yourselves a marker pen, include a couple of zero's at the end of appropriate bank note and voila - bill paid! Given the level of competence it should be a walkover to convince the idiot in the chair with his / her hand out!

  • kgalalelo.malesele - 2012-04-05 07:15

    And instead of spending time training their accounts peeps the ANC wud rather promote secrecy bill and toll gantries or rather firing Malema

  • Marina - 2012-11-18 05:38

    Don't u know, u don't have to pay these fines? They (AARTO)is not issuing the fines in a legally enforceable way

  • Jonathan Pillay - 2013-05-11 11:00

    Pathetic! Cant adequately administrate a traffic fine. Lets see what they do with eTOLLS. Just another event to be be an embarassed South African.

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