Tom Stokes, MPP
DA KZN Alternate Spokesperson on Finance
A close-out budget report by the KwaZulu-Natal transport department has revealed that the collection rate on fines issued in the province is only between five and 10%.
The information is the result of a question posed by DA KZN Alternate Finance Spokesperson, Tom Stokes, during a portfolio committee earlier today, which saw members interrogate the department over budget expenditure.
A recovery rate of 10% or less is dismal. The money involved is at least R50million a year and potentially as much as R100million.
Apart from the fiscal implications, it means that only one in every 10 people that commit an offence such as speeding or over-loading heavy vehicles actually pay their fines. Add to this the fact that most drivers who break the rules of the road don’t get caught and it should come as no surprise that our roads are amongst the most dangerous in the world.
The department has admitted that the retrieval rate on fines is unacceptably low, and that steps are being put in place to outsource the recovery of funds. The DA welcomes this. We believe that the collection rate should be part of the department’s annual public records so that there is regular monitoring in a bid to improve the retrieval rate. The recovery of these funds should be a key performance indicator and we call on the MEC to ensure that this happens.