The so-called amnesty carrot offered to traffic offenders in the Eastern Cape may leave them with a bitter taste after it emerged that officials of the Department of Transport are not aware of the deal.
Phone calls by my office revealed that officials at the traffic offices in East London, Port Elizabeth, Graaff-Reinet and Humansdorp were unaware of the MEC’s announcement. Instead of increasing provincial revenue from fines, this may end up increasing the public’s mistrust in the system.
Transport MEC Weziwe Tikana announced during her policy speech tabled in the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature in March that offenders who incurred traffic fines between April and September 2016, would be charged only half if they came forward to pay before June 30 this year. The amnesty period closes on 30 June 2018 and could potentially save motorists and companies large sums of money.
In a statement I released last year, it was highlighted that the province lost out on potential revenue of R93.3-million from traffic fines and warrants – R31.4-million in 2015/16 and R61.9-million in 2016/17.
I have written to the MEC to ensure that her officials are made aware of the amnesty period as a matter of urgency. I also urge the public to do the right thing and pay their fines.
Marshall von Buchenroder
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