Increase in warrants a

Deputy traffic chief Andre Nel, PC chairperson councillor Mzwakhe Nqavashe and Mayco member for Safety and Security JP Smith.
Deputy traffic chief Andre Nel, PC chairperson councillor Mzwakhe Nqavashe and Mayco member for Safety and Security JP Smith.

The City of Cape Town’s traffic service executed nearly 200 000 warrants in the past financial year.

This statistic represented a 102% increase in the number of warrants executed year-on-year.

“We have to increase the fine payment and conviction rate if we are to see any meaningful change in behaviour on our roads, as simply issuing more and more fines that offenders do not pay does not change driving behaviour,” said Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith.

Other notable statistics from the traffic service’s efforts in 2019/20 are a 22.3% increase in taxi impoundments, a 36.2% increase in warrant arrests and a 10.5% increase in drunk-driving arrests.

“We are hopeful that with the sustained pressure from Operation Reclaim and the other interventions in place, road users will start thinking twice about their choices and behaviour,” said Smith.

The revised traffic bylaw will also be put out for public participation soon, which, Smith said, would hopefully give enforcement staff greater powers to deal with habitual offenders.

In the current financial year, the traffic service will continue the focus on tracking down motorists with outstanding warrants, along with other road safety priorities like speeding and drunk-driving.

Vehicle impoundments is another priority, which is why the safety and security directorate is doubling the capacity at its pound in Ndabeni.

“The taxi impoundment rate would likely have been higher, but for space constraints at facilities. We are increasing capacity now. Officers will be able to impound more vehicles,” said Smith.

The upgrade of the impoundment facility was made possible by funding secured in the January Adjustments Budget through mayor Dan Plato’s intervention.

Around R9 million has been spent on increasing the Ndabeni vehicle pound capacity from 400 to 723 bays, with the cost going to security fencing, lighting, hard surfacing and access control as well as gates for the new pound. It is expected to be completed in the coming months.

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