Officials driving state vehicles on behalf of Eastern Cape provincial departments ran up fines totalling R423 000 during the last financial year.
In a written response to a parliamentary question I asked Transport MEC Thandiswa Marawu the following information was revealed that staff from the Health Department amassed 52% of the fines, totalling R223 400.
The other big offenders were the Departments of Education, whose officials collected fines worth R31 850, Transport R31 388 and Social Development R36 195. For the reply, click here.
I have written to the MEC for Transport to ask her whether;
a) All the fines have been paid;
b) Whether all the employees who received fines while driving departmental vehicles were made to pay these fines; and
c) Whether these offences were committed during the course of duty of the employee.
Furthermore, I will be asking the MEC to report whether the vehicles were being used for work purposes at the time of the offence.
It has come to my attention that some of these vehicles were being used for private purposes when these fines were issued.
With departmental budgets under pressure this gigantic wasteful expenditure amount is irresponsible and an additional expense the province should not be footing at this time.
Of further concern is that many of the fines were committed by ambulance drivers of Emergency Medical Rescue Services.
While one appreciates the urgency for ambulances to speed to medical emergencies and vehicle accidents, this is done within the ambit of the law, with flashing lights and sirens.
According to the information supplied, it must be asked why ambulances are being stopped for speeding and why many of these offences committed by our provincial ambulances are taking place in the Western Cape.