Government making headway in uprooting corruption at DLTCs

Monday, October 24, 2022

Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula, says government is making headway in uprooting malfeasance and corruption at driving licence testing centres (DLTC).

“Working with law enforcement authorities, we are making headway in uprooting malfeasance and corruption,” Mbalula said.

Addressing media in Pretoria on Monday, Mbalula said over the last year, the department has been working with MECs and the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) to implement a number of interventions that are intended to address the root causes of systemic and operational challenges.

“At the core of these interventions is a seamlessly integrated value chain, guided by a single standard, under the leadership of the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC),” Mbalula said.

Mbalula said 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.

“The National Assembly [has] passed the National Road Traffic Amendment Bill, which... provides us with more instruments to aggressively tackle the intractable challenge of corruption that continues to bedevil the vehicle and driver licensing system.

“The regulation of driving schools, through this legislation, will enable closer scrutiny of the conduct of these schools and ensure that uniform standards are applicable to all driving schools."

Mbalula said stricter rules are being introduced to address cheating by learners and wayward behaviour by instructors.

“The prevalence of criminal conduct, ranging from the cloning of vehicles to the fraudulent issuing of driving licences, is a matter of concern that is receiving our most urgent attention,” Mbalula said.

Mbalula said the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) has until 31 March 2023 to complete investigations into corruption at DLTCs and table a final report.

“Our government is committed to fighting corruption. This investigation has allowed the department to act on corrupt officials at driving licensing centers and other entities within the transport sector.

“South Africans continue to place their trust and confidence on government officials to deliver services without unduly benefiting themselves from the public purse." 

In its investigation, the SIU has so far identified the drivers of the systemic and operational challenges that give rise to corruption.

The SIU has since presented an interim report, identifying a number of administrative actions that should be taken by the various authorities.

The SIU was mandated by the President, through Proclamation R37 of 2017, to investigate matters in respect of the following:

• Registration of motor vehicles.

• Licencing of motor vehicles.

• Testing and issuing of roadworthy certificates.

• Testing and issuing of driving licences, learner’s permits, licences, professional driving permits and issuing of operator fitness cards.

• Conversion of foreign licences to South African licences.

Head of the Special Investigating Unit, Advocate Andy Mothibi, said the SIU was authorised to investigate the entering of, changing, tempering with or manipulation of data or information on eNatis.

Mothibi said the SIU is estimated to conclude its investigation by 31 March 2023.

“The SIU continues to receive allegations from whistleblowers. The SIU will continue to investigate and further engage with the RTMC and the Department of Transport where there is a need to amend the current Proclamations or process a new Proclamation,” Mothibi said.  

The SIU made findings and recommendations with regard to DLTCs and other entities, which are being implemented. –