By Cllr Maritha Coetzee, DA Matlosana Councillor:
The Democratic Alliance in Matlosana is concerned with the neglect and mismanagement of the traffic department by the city council.
The traffic department can bring in more than R12 million in revenue per month but has been so awfully neglected that it has come down to a mere R1.5 million per month.
Since 2012 the DA has been asking that vacant posts be filled as there have been 58 vacant positions in the traffic department that need to be filled.
The traffic department has lost millions in revenue because it has no system to collect money for outstanding traffic fines.
Furthermore the city owes the provincial government R41 million for license renewals. The city has drafted a letter to the provincial government requesting the debt to be written off, but with no system in place to properly manage this the debt will still pile up.
Because the department has no cashiers to handle traffic fines and license renewals, most of the work is outsourced to the Post Office causing council to lose 20% in commission. The loss amounts to R400 000 per month.
The ineffectiveness of the Council to deliver traffic police to limit traffic violations can lead to loss of life. Speed and moving violations such as solid white line infringements, traffic light disobedience and stop sign violations, risk going unpoliced now.
The DA will write to the MEC for Community Safety and Transport Management Mr Gaoage Molapisi to immediately intervene and to save the department from a complete shutdown.
The DA will request that all vacant posts be filled as soon as possible, to establish a system for traffic debt collection and create a viable audit system that will assist with managing license renewal funds.
The DA ran Western Cape has introduced several technical interventions that makes repayments easier and more efficient. They have an admin mark that ensures that all warrants are paid before motorists renew their licenses.
They have launched Operation Reclaim which vigorously pursues all motorists with outstanding warrants. Another system is the license plate recognition cameras that helps identify drivers with outstanding warrants on the road. They also use bulk SMS reminders for fines issued, summons and warrants of arrest. Since the introduction of these interventions there has been substantial growth in traffic fine income.