BuzzSouthAfrica learnt that 113 officials have been held in a choke-hold for engaging in fraudulent and corrupt activities at driver testing centers across the country.
From our gatherings, South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) has already, arrested seven officials employed at the Sandton Driver Testing Centre and the Martindale Bulk Licensing Department in the City of Johannesburg.
Confirming the arrests, Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Ismail Vadi praised Hawks and welcomed the on-going investigations into the alleged corrupt activities of the remaining 106 officials at various other driver testing centres.
“The arrests and investigations into alleged fraud and corrupt activities at driver testing centres in Johannesburg is fully supported by the provincial government and we will work closely with the city’s leadership in breaking criminal syndicates linked to these centres.
Any action aimed at combating corruption is in the public interest and will be supported by the provincial department of roads and transport.”
Divulging that the fraudulent and corrupt activities at driver testing centers were initiated by criminal syndicates , MEC Vadi stressed that the bribing of examiners at testing stations is a matter of serious concern.
According to him, driver testing centres have been identified as critical areas for intervention in several surveys on public perceptions of corruption at government service delivery sites.
Between January 2008 and February 2016, 972 alleged fraudulent transactions at a total value of R14 717 444 happened just within the City of Johannesburg.
In a media statement Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba affirmed that criminal syndicates colluded with certain licensing officials to perform illegal transactions on the licensing computer system.
It is believed that the fraudulent transactions are contributing to the increase in accidents on SA roads.
Few days ago, SA Transport Minister Dipuo Peters lamented about the 5% increase in fatalities on SA roads during the festive season saying:
“There is an influx on our roads of drivers who are not competent and qualified to be driving on our roads.”
With that, the Minister instructed the Road Traffic Management Corporation to undertake an audit of how driving licenses as well as road safety certificates are processed and issued in SA testing stations. That should be done “so that we can have an appreciation of how it is possible that so many incompetent drivers and un-roadworthy vehicles could be on our roads,” added Minister Peters.