Three month amnesty fails to reclaim a single cent in outstanding traffic fines

The Eastern Cape has failed to recover a single cent of more than R110 million in outstanding traffic fines issued over the past two financial years. This despite offering an amnesty period to offenders, due to poor implementation and lack of follow-through.

During her policy speech tabled in the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature in March, Transport MEC, Weziwe Tikana announced an amnesty period for motorists who incurred traffic fines between April and September 2016, saying they would only have to pay half of the fine amount, if they came forward to pay before June 30.

In response to a follow up parliamentary question I posed after the deadline had passed, the MEC has now confirmed that not a single cent of the outstanding R55 million in fines for the 2016/17 financial year had been recovered during the amnesty period.

SEE: Reply IQP 23 qq 279,280,281 Hon von Buchenroder

It is not surprising though, as earlier I had highlighted that officials at traffic offices in East London, Port Elizabeth, Graaff-Reinet and Humansdorp were completely unaware of the MEC’s announcement of the amnesty period.

This shows a lack of interest from the MEC to properly communicate initiatives to officials.

The MEC goes on to reveal that the Department has a backlog in fines to the tune of R57.7 million for the 2017/18 financial year.

Of the R125 million in fines issued over the past two financial years, only 12% has been recovered.

The ongoing under recovery on fines is worrying. It is an extreme loss in revenue, which this department cannot afford to lose.

The DA believes that, in our current economic climate, it is important to ensure that any prospective revenue for the province is efficiently managed. It is also vital that motorists who have transgressed and broken the law are held accountable.

I call on the MEC to ensure that the backlog in revenue from traffic fines be recovered, and that she considers reopening the amnesty period, but that this time she informs her officials that such an option exists and ensures that it is implemented.