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Mpumalanga traffic official suspended after ‘bribe increase’ protest

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A licensing official in Mbombela, Mpumalanga, has been placed on precautionary suspension after allegations that driving school operators were being asked for an increase in “bribe cash” to secure their clients’ bookings.

Earlier this month, driving school operators in Mbombela shut the entrance at the local traffic department facility in what they said was a protest against the bribe increase.

In a statement, the department of community safety in Mbombela has confirmed an official was suspended, and the decision is due to “damning allegations that he was leading the attempts” to solicit more bribes from driving school owners when they brought in applicants for testing at the driving licence testing centre.

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“We view these allegations in a very serious light because we are fully conscious of their negative consequences on road safety. It is in this context that we will do all it takes to deal decisively with those implicated or found in the wrong.

Read also: Driving Instructor jailed 5 years for taking bribe to organise heavy vehicle driving licence

“The department is working hard to ensure safety on the roads. The war against road accidents and fatalities can only be won if we defeat the scourge of corruption,” said Mpumalanga community safety MEC Vusi Shongwe.

Shongwe said corruption in licensing of drivers and vehicles has negative consequences for the government’s efforts to enhance road safety. He said it also compromises service delivery and called for all stakeholders to work with the government to bring an end to malfeasance in the licensing environment. He said this would go a long way to end road accidents that lead to avoidable loss of lives and injuries.

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The MEC said driving schools are an important stakeholder for the department as they play a huge role in road safety.

“Driving schools are the primary foundation of acquiring driving licences as they are the ones that educate and train people to be qualified drivers,” he said

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