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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Over 190,000 to be cancelled as DoT sweeps through corruption at testing centres

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Over 190,000 illegally obtained driver’s licenses have been sent to provincial MECs for cancellation as the department of transport sweeps through corruption at testing stations after the Special Investigating Unit probe.

This was revealed by transport minister Fikile Mbalula on Monday when he briefed the media on the work that has been done to end corruption and fraud at the Driving Licensing Testing Centres (DLTC).

The investigations follow a proclamation made in 2017 for investigations into issues of drivers’ licences, learners’ licences, professional driver permits, roadworthy certificates and conversion of foreign licences into local ones.

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Mbalula said the SIU has since presented an interim report identifying a number of administrative actions that must be taken by various authorities. The unit has until March 31 2023 to complete the investigations and table a final report.

So far the SIU has uncovered corruption and criminal activities taking place at DLTCs across the country.

Mbalula said investigations revealed that there were negligent and incompetent officials working in these centres with weak management and oversight of their performance.

Read also: ‘Public roads are not race tracks for trucks’ says transport portfolio committee

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Since the investigation began, 99 documents of debt acknowledgement have been signed to the value of R45m.

More than R52m has been recovered through the seizure of illegally imported vehicles during joint operations in respect of 375 vehicles recovered in the Eastern Cape.

Over 190,000 driver’s licences have been sent to relevant MECs for cancellation and another 190,000 driver’s licences issued to persons who have since died have also been referred for cancellation.

A total of 44 cases have been referred to the NPA for prosecution and 128 cases referred to authorities for disciplinary action.

A total of 88 arrests have been made for fraud in a joint operation with the Hawks and SA Revenue Service. These include 36 vehicle testing examiners, 10 Natis officers and 26 DLTC officials; three police officers, four provincial departments of transport inspectors and seven civilians.

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“Some of the people are still in the system but we are coming for them. We will find them. Each and every one of them will account for their deeds in terms of undermining the rule of law and authority of the state,” Mbalula said

He said that over the past year the government has been working to address systemic and operational problems at DLTCs.

“At the core of these interventions is a seamlessly integrated value chain guided by a single standard under the leadership of the RTMC. This would constitute a new service delivery model for all DLTCs in the country.

“Various measures have been implemented which include the introduction of online services and online payments, the rollout of smart enrolment units across all DLTCs, and the centralisation of the management of booking slots,” he said. – SowetanLive

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