Jozi crackdown nails 70 crooked testers

  • Is this the start of a genuine clean-up?
  • Action at last after years of corruption
  • ‘Encouraging, long overdue, first step’

JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng – Action at last on corruption at South Africa’s driving licence/roadworthy centres across the country – the suspension of 70 testing officials in Johannesburg should be only the start of a huge and long overdue clean-up.

The news came to The Corner from the Automobile Association which reported on the action that involved 70 officials at six vehicle testing centres across Gauteng for corruption.

“This is an important development in making roads safer in South Africa,” the AA said.
“Many problems associated with road safety begin and end at the licensing centres.”

LONG-OVERDUE FIRST STEP

The road organisation added: “Various administrations in the transport department had expressed concern about rampant corruption at these centres which puts incompetent and dangerous drivers on our roads – as well as unsafe, unroadworthy vehicles.

“This is an encouraging, and long-overdue, first step in dealing with these problems.”

This move comes after Transport Minister Dipuo Peters announced earlier this month that the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) would conduct an audit of the centres to determine the level of corruption in the issuing of drivers’ licences and vehicle roadworthy certificates.

REMOVE CORRUPT STAFF

The AA added: “The developments in Johannesburg are, we hope, just the beginning. We need the RTMC to act in the same way at testing facilities across the country – and quickly – in the interests of better road safety.”

Such an audit, the AA said, should involve the retraining of staff, the removal of corrupt staff, stronger and more robust methodologies, and a move towards the more efficient handling of driving tests and roadworthy checks.

READ MORE road safety features on Carman’s Corner

“People who have bought their driving licences or roadworthy certificates also need to be aware that the law may be coming after them. Incompetent drivers, and un-roadworthy vehicles, are major contributors to deaths on our roads and the licensing staff are only part of that problem.

“Citizens who buy these documents are complicit in criminality and must be dealt with.”

HOW MANY ‘UNROADWORTHY’ DRIVERS

About a half-million licences are issued each year – almost 2000 a working day – according to the RTMC.

“If the RTMC is to follow the Johannesburg Metro’s lead with its audit it will be able to provide citizens a clearer picture of how many ‘unroadworthy’ drivers we have on our roads,” the AA pointed out.

“They endanger the lives of people who have obtained their permits the proper way. The findings of this audit are an essential first step in dealing with the annual road carnage.”

The AA concluded, forcefully: “This audit cannot be delayed any longer.”

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