DA WANTS ANSWERS ON E-TOLL FINES QUOTA

Neil Campbell MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Roads and Transport

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is extremely concerned about the report in the Sunday Times yesterday of traffic fine quotas being imposed on the traffic police appointed to deal with toll roads nationally.

It is claimed that this so-called “elite traffic-law enforcement organisation” has been ordered to dish out 15 fines a day to help fund their unit. The new Transport Minister Ben Martins must provide answers and address the DA’s primary concerns, which include:

* Motorists being seen as nothing than cash cows for an authority with an inadequate budget. A similar attitude is evident from government regarding the e-tolls in Gauteng;

* There appears to be no concern whatsoever for road safety – merely for income generation;

* The expectation by the treasury that the Road Traffic Management Agency (RTMA) can operate on a budget of R86 million when its salary bill alone is R121 million, shows that treasury itself expects traffic police to act as sources of revenue rather than as peace and safety officers.

The allegations regarding the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) funding these police officers must be taken seriously because it was the clear intent in a recent Government Gazette which called for input on the formation of “Nazir Alli’s” police force.

The date for input has long passed, yet nothing further has been heard about the draft regulations. This brings into question the legality of this unit operating at all. It is also not clear under whose guidance it falls. This also indicates that despite protestations by SANRAL to the contrary, the agency was ill-equipped to initiate open-road tolling and remains so to this day.

Minister Martins must provide clarity on the creation of this unit, which is nothing but a relic of his predecessor’s ill-advised attempts to deal with e-tolling.

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